The smoke billowing from the forest was theatrical, like the kind used in movies, but the scenario could be real.
The District of North Vancouver Fire & Rescue Service (DNVFRS) recently staged a multi-agency exercise that simulated a wildfire burning at Rolf (Lost) Lake in the Seymour Watershed.
“The exercise was designed to incorporate the main skills taught in our Initial Attack Crew course to attack and control a wildfire on the North Shore aggressively,” says DNVFRS Chief Brian Hutchinson.
“We selected this location to provide a challenge to our crews.”
The Metro Vancouver Watershed Protection Initial Attack Crew, which specializes in backcountry firefighting, also participated in the full-day training.
In addition, Talon Helicopters supported the exercise by providing reconnaissance and moving crews and equipment from the fire site. Other agencies such as BC Wildfire Service provided support or participated as observers.
This summer, 29 DNV firefighters and four chief officers were also deployed into areas in BC that were severely hit by wildfires, including the Village of Lytton.
“We’ve spent years building up our readiness, expertise and resources and were able to help others while maintaining vigilance and capacity here on the North Shore. The experience and lessons have been brought back to the North Shore and are culminating in this exercise,” says Chief Hutchinson.
DNVFRS encourages citizens to educate themselves in FireSmart and general emergency preparedness.