Comox Valley firefighters are answering the call for help to battle the wildfires in the Interior.
The Courtenay Fire Department has sent out two personnel and two vehicles – its wildland unit (Courtenay 17) , and Engine 11 (training vehicle) – while Comox Fire Rescue has provided six firefighters, including Chief Gord Schreiner, its Structural Protection Unit trailer and two pick-ups.
Courtenay fire Chief Don Bardonnex said they knew the call would come eventually, and they were prepared to give as much help as was requested.
“This is at request from the Office of the Fire Commissioner,” said Bardonnex. “They called us Friday night and asked for help. We gave them everything they asked for.
“We knew this was going to happen eventually this summer, so last week I sent out an email saying anyone who was interested in being deployed let me know, and for those who are interested in being deployed on short notice, let me know. So the call came in the middle of the night and I called two people who said they were good for short deployment and they left first thing Saturday morning.”
He said he was encouraged by the number of his staff who have made themselves available for deployment.
“I got 18 responses,” said Bardonnex. “Of course, I’d never send that kind of resource out. We only have two trucks that are available (for such assignments).”
The deploymenta are for a maximum 14 days, at which time the need will be reassessed.
The Courtenay crew is heading to 100 Mile House, while the Comox crew has gone to the Kamloops area.
The Record has reached out to the Cumberland Fire Department for an update from that hall.
The Oyster River Fire Department has staff on standby but has not received a call for help yet.