Saanich firefighter Aaron Charlton is directing the deck gun on Saanich Engine 32 to soak down a log deck in Williams Lake, protecting it from flying embers. Charlton is among four Saanich firefighters helping to protect Williams Lake.

Saanich firefighters helping to save Williams Lake

As wildfires rage across the interior of British Columbia, four Saanich firefighters are doing their bit.

Four Saanich firefighters are among several firefighters from across Vancouver Island, who are currently working in Williams Lake to help area firefighters deal with fire that has forced the evacuation of that community. Crews from Victoria, View Royal, North Saanich, Sidney, Parksville, Port Alberni as well as the Tseshaht and Hupacasath First Nations have joined efforts to various fires in the interior.

“Saanich [firefighters] know all too well the effect that these types of events have on communities,” said Dan Wood, deputy fire chief operations. “Supporting the efforts alongside other responders to protect life and property is what they do day in and day out. They are proud group and determined to make a difference, [because] they as you know this could happen in our backyard.”

Wood said the quartet is doing well, working as directed by the Office of the Fire Commissioner. They are currently working to protect major structures in the area, such local mills, power plants, schools, and major subdivisions near the urban-rural interface, said Wood.

It is not clear how long they will stay in Williams Lake, he said, adding that they may to have to help fighters elsewhere, as the need arises.

Capt. Robert Heppell, a Saanich firefighter of 28 years, is leading the crew, which arrived last week with one fire engine.

“Most of my expertise is with structural fires, fortunately there’s a great deal of experience in our group with wildland fires,” Heppell said in an earlier interview. “It’s good to have that mix of experience.”

Longtime Saanich firefighter Ron Benedict and two other firefighters, Aaron Charlton and Lauren Beddington, round out the quartet. The latter duo bring much-needed wildfire experience as they originally joined the Saanich Fire Department from the B.C. Wildfire Service

Just Posted

Parents call for change to health laws after Oak Bay teen’s death

Accidental overdose has Elliot Eurchuk’s parents seeking change to B.C Infants Act

Tsawout hosts Saanich Peninsula community leaders at blanket ceremony

Reconciliation event meant to share the Indigenous exerience

Amazing Race Canada kicks off at Hatley Castle

Popular reality TV show will premiere later this year

WATCH:First responders score first, take inaugural Challenge Cup in Oak Bay

Ice hockey game raises funds for Cops for Cancer, encourages positive interaction with youth

LGBTQ advocates turn Victoria SOGI protest into dance party

Counter-protest outnumbers anti-SOGI activists on lawn of B.C. legislature

Judith Guichon steps down as Lieutenant Governor of B.C.

Election decision didn’t make her best moments from the past six years

Vancouver to rake in $30 million in empty homes tax in first year

The tax is the first of its kind in Canada, and was intended to address the city’s near-zero vacancy rate

B.C.’s snowpack continues to increase, melting delayed

River Forecast Centre official says sudden melting further into the season could cause flooding

Another B.C. First Nation voices support for Kinder Morgan pipeline

Simpcw First Nation claims people living on one-third of pipeline route support the project

Scooter crash leaves Island man with critical injuries

RCMP said a truck was making a left-hand turn when it collided with the scooter travelling through the intersection

Prankster broadcasts fake nuclear threat in Winnipeg

The audio recording on Sunday warned of a nuclear attack against Canada and the United States

ICBC reform aims to slow rising car insurance costs

‘Pain and suffering’ payouts to be capped, major injury limit to double

Most Read