City lobbies to keep barracks open

Cooper said she is optimistic about the results of the meeting but waiting for a reply from the wildfire service

At work: RapAttack firefighters based in Salmon Arm work on digging a fire guard to prevent a forest fire from spreading. The closure of barracks may make it more difficult for the workers.

Mayor Nancy Cooper and Salmon Arm councillors met with a representative of BC Wildfire Service in an effort to keep RapAttack firefighters housed on their base near the Salmon Arm airport.

The Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations announced their plans to discontinue food service and accommodation for RapAttack crews in early October.

Madeline Maley, executive director of the BC Wildfire Service met with Cooper and councillors Wallace Richmond, Flynn, Lavery and Harrison as well as Salmon Arm Fire Chief Brad Shirley and Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) Fire Chief Kenn Mount on Oct. 31.

Cooper said she is optimistic about the results of the meeting but waiting for a reply from the wildfire service.

The stated reason for discontinuing housing and meal service is  Salmon Arm is no longer remote enough to warrant on-base housing. Fire crews will have to seek rental housing off the base once housing is discontinued at the start of 2018.

“When they look at an area they look at rental housing within 30 minutes of the base, so for us that meant Sicamous and Enderby,” Cooper said. She told the BC Wildfire Representative about how difficult finding housing in Sicamous is in the summer and the traffic congestion which can form between Sicamous, Enderby and Salmon Arm.

Cooper said doesn’t think the food and housing on the base should be subsidized just provided to the fire crews at market value.

Mount also recognized the difficulties with finding housing, but added response times when assisting the CSRD’s rural fire departments is a concern for him.

Mount said in isolated areas such as Anglemont, the RapAttack crews can respond much faster in support of the CSRD fire department than other fire halls could on the ground.

“We definitely benefit from having the facility there” Mount said, “We’ll support the RapAttack base as best we can as far as expressing how important they are.”

Shirley is happy to hear there are no plans to close the base itself but worried about response times with fire fighters living off the base.

“I know for me in the fire business, the closer I have guys living to the fire hall the faster the response time we can get, and with fire seconds can literally make the difference,” he said.

Cooper said the 1998 wildfire is on people’s minds in Salmon Arm and having RapAttack nearby makes people feel safe.

“Hopefully she’ll review and we’ll get a positive response back and if not, we’ll continue to pursue it because we feel it’s very important to this area,” she said.



Just Posted

Salmon Arm man won’t be jailed for possessing child pornography

Conditional sentence from Supreme Court includes house arrest curfew for six months

Field trip inspires Salmon Arm student to recreate art exhibit in Minecraft

Grade 5 student makes a model of The Little Lake exhibit at the Salmon Arm Art Gallery

Salmon Arm orchard working with Interior Health after apple juice recall

Health inspection report raises concerns with hygiene, sanitation, improper attire

Salmon Arm women bring soccer to girls in Kenyan village

Cultural disconnections melt away with learning and laughter

Vandals on ATV damage outdoor skating rink in Silver Creek

Damage delays preparations for ice surface in community park

Fashion Fridays: Holiday outfits on a budget

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Bolshoi Ballet’s Le Corsair back for encore showing at Salmar

Alexei Ratmansky production plays at Classic on Sunday, Nov. 24

RDOS approves cannabis location for Okanagan Falls

Concerns about impact of business raised by some in South Okanagan community

Smudging in B.C. classroom did not affect Christian family’s faith, says school district lawyer

Lawyers make closing arguments in a Port Alberni case about the Indigenous cultural practice

Shuswap’s Rust Bros. team keeping it real with season 2 of Rust Valley Restorers

Q&A with Mike Hall and Avery Shoaf of Tappen-based reality TV show

Canadian Forces member charged with possessing magic mushrooms in Comox

Master Cpl. Joshua Alexander, with the 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron, facing two drug related charges

City of Revelstoke company owes millions

With the proposed propane subsidy, mayor said RCEC won’t be able to compete

Most B.C. residents, including those hit by 2018 storms, not prepared for outages: report

Create an emergency kit, BC Hydro says, and report all outages or downed lines

Most Read