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

Juan de Fuca curlers ‘reeling’ after learning rink will be replaced with dry floor

West Shore Parks & Recreation board says curling rinks not getting enough use

The rock is no more for Oak Bay ‘Sea Lore’

Council calls for change to controversial location proposed for art installation

Metchosin driver striking a deer heralds a need for caution

Vehicle incident likely not the last of its kind in Greater Victoria

Mary Winspear offers out-of-this-world evening with Chris Hadfield

Tickets on sale March 22 for Colonel Chris Hadfield visit May 7

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Most Read