Firefighters douse burning boat left on road

It’s a mystery.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Resource Operations was called to a fire that destroyed a boat and trailer near Chum Lake, east of Chase on the Turtle Valley Road to Chase Creek.

“A fancy ski boat was parked in the middle of the road, and we spent the whole day babysitting it,” says fire protection officer Larry Osachoff, noting a three-person initial attack crew was dispatched because the fire was outside of the Chase fire suppression area. “It was a fiberglass boat with very toxic fumes.”

Because of the toxicity, firefighters stood back and made sure it was extinguished and keeping the fire out of adjacent woods.

“We had to wait a long time to put water on it,” Osachoff says, noting the case had been turned over to Chase RCMP for investigation. “We’ve seen a lot of things, but I don’t ever remember an abandoned boat and trailer. It was just sitting there on the gravel road.”

A few kilometres northeast of Chase, the Squilax Volunteer Fire Department has been busy over the past week.

Firefighters were dispatched to a trailer fire on Little Shuswap Lake Road East around 2 p.m. Saturday, July 12.

Fire chief Keith Power says the trailer was about 30 per cent engulfed when firefighters arrived.

Eight firefighters were on scene for approximately seven hours, but the trailer was a total loss.

“Firefighters were hampered by a lack of hydrants,” said Power, noting the air temperature was about 38C before the fire. “We had to shuttle water from the Squilax Gas Station.”

The fire is under investigation by the property owner’s insurance company.

Squilax firefighters got an early morning wake-up call Wednesday that kept them busy for another seven hours.

At 2 a.m. seven firefighters responded to another trailer fire, this time on Arnouse Lane, a trailer court on the Little Shuswap River.

“When we arrived, the trailer was fully engulfed and it was a total loss,” Power says, noting the homeowner thinks the fire might have started in an air-conditioning unit. “We were fortunate the river was close by as, again, the court does not have hydrants.”

Power says a total ban on camping and cooking fires is being implemented on band land along with the province’s campfire ban that went into effect at noon July 16.


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