Sooke Fire Rescue is preparing for wildfire season. Currently, the fire risk in Sooke is low. (Pixabay)

Sooke Fire Rescue braces for wildfire season

Fire risk in Sooke is currently low, says Fire Chief Kenn Mount

  • Apr. 29, 2020 4:35 p.m.

Sooke Fire Rescue is bracing for what is expected to be a “normal” wildfire season.

The fire department is preparing by hosting online information sessions, as well as small in-person evaluations for firefighters, and refresher training on the use of wildfire equipment, Fire Chief Kenn Mount said.

Recently, the department kicked off wildfire season with the annual Readiness Conference Call Workshop, which included neighbouring fire departments, local chiefs, the Capital Regional District and emergency coordinators.

“We have implemented an alternative training plan to adhere to social distancing,” Mount said.

RELATED: Precaution the watchword for Sooke Fire Rescue amid COVID-19 outbreak

One of the major focuses for SFR’s wildfire preparedness training is “structural protection training,” and learning how to operate equipment on the structure protection unit trailer.

Mount said the SPU trailer holds hundreds of feet of hose, multiple sprinklers, ladders, tools and more, which firefighters must refresh their skills on annually on how to operate the equipment efficiently.

“There is a lot more to it than just putting water on a fire,” said Mount, adding the trailers are kept at a specific standard in order to help lesson the impact, should a wildfire breach the community.

“It takes a unique skill set to use all of the equipment; to set up sprinklers properly, understanding how to use portable pumps and proper hose connections, using lifts … all of that sort of thing requires revisited maintenance.”

The single trailer would allow the department to protect around 20 to 35 homes if a wildfire were to move towards Sooke.

Right now, Mount said, the fire risk in Sooke is low, but he wants to remind the public to be “fire smart.” There is a province-wide ban on all open burning, aside from small campfires for cooking.

RELATED: Province extends COVID-19 fire ban until June 15

With the current burning prohibition, and people spending a lot of time at home, things have been relatively relaxed in Sooke. Mount said the department has not had to respond to many emergency incidents, and people have “been good” with not setting their kitchens on fire while cooking at home.

In early March, SFR was responding to several burning complaints every day, as some people were not following the current restrictions. However, Mount said things have started to improve, and residents are being more mindful of their neighbours when it comes to burning.

“It took some time for these measures to trickle through, but I think people are starting to appreciate how important air quality is right now,” said Mount.

Mount added that now is a great time for people to fire smart their homes and properties. Information on how to do so can be found on firesmartbc.ca.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP seeks video footage after homeowner interrupts Colwood break and enter

Police were called to 600-block of Stornoway Drive late Sunday

Charity tackling ‘weekend hunger gap’ bracing for tripling of students in need

Backpack Buddies was serving 1,300 students per week in March, by June that number doubled

BC Supreme Court tosses out application to stop work on Highlands quarry

Highlands District Community Association will not suffer irreparable harm if work begins, says judge

Victoria council pushes for December byelection

City staff concerned with timeframe and planning needs prior to byelection

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

Most Read