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Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge fire crews help battle B.C. wildfires

Both departments say regular services within cities will be maintained
Pitt Meadows Fire and Rescue sent a crew of three with Wildland 1 to help battle the wildfires in the B.C. Interior. (City of Pitt Meadows Facebook/Special to The News)

Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge firefighters are now in the B.C. Interior helping in the wildfire battle after the premier declared a state of emergency on Friday, Aug. 18.

Following Premier David Eby’s declaration, he requested help from fire departments in municipalities across the province.

Three firefighters from Pitt Meadows Fire and Rescue left at 10 a.m. Monday morning Aug. 21, for Lillooet for a 14-day period, taking with them a Type 6 engine – a wildland truck that is used to access tighter spaces, while still allowing the truck to carry from 50 to 400 gallons of water – a specific request from the province.

“The one crew that went up there is going to do seven days and then we are going to switch out with them next Monday and then the other crew is going to do the next seven days,” explained outgoing Pitt Meadows Fire Chief Mike Larsson.

The department just added the truck to the department earlier this year, and Larsson noted, this will be the first big action for the engine.

“Right now we are going to be camped at the Lillooet Airport, that’s where the province has their fire camp set up, in that region,” said Larsson.

READ ALSO: Pitt Meadows fire chief leaving to head department in Penticton

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue sent a team consisting of one engine and four firefighters to the Central Okanagan Saturday morning, Aug 19.

“At the moment I think they are in the Lake Country area. But, it’s so dynamic, they get moved around where ever the need is,” said deputy chief Geoff Spriggs.

ALSO RELATED: ‘Like a hurricane’: West Kelowna fire chief recounts devastation

Spriggs said he doesn’t know how long the Maple Ridge crew will be helping with the wildfires, but said, it is in the mix of what they have in available staffing to support the effort.

So far Spriggs has heard from his team that it is very smokey in the area and there are lots of fire departments there.

“Their definitely working hard and hitting spot fires,” he said.

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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