Quick action by first responders and Good Samaritans helped extinguish a forest fire in a rural residential area of Golden, BC, along the Trans Canada Highway this week.
On Wednesday August 16, 2023 at approximately 4:40 PM, Constable Mark Tataryn with the Golden RCMP BC Highway Patrol was travelling on Highway 1 when he noticed a brush fire on the north bank of the highway near Forde Station Rd.
The fire was about 20 metres wide and travelling east and was beginning to engulf large trees. Cst. Tataryn used multiple fire extinguishers from his police vehicle, the vehicles of fellow RCMP officers that attended, and other motorists’ vehicles that stopped to help. Fortunately, a Kootenay Pumping truck was travelling on that section of the highway and was able to provide assistance to Cst. Tataryn who was already battling the flames. With the use of their pump and water lines, the group was able to slow the fire to a manageable size.
The Golden Fire Department arrived and took over with the assistance of the Nicholson Fire Department. BC Wildfire Services also responded via helicopter. Other agencies that assisted on scene were EMCON and BC Hydro, who provided vital support.
“Without the quick thinking of Cst. Tataryn and staff from Kootenay Pumping, the outcome could have been devastating for the community,”said Corporal Lucas Sovio with the Golden-Field RCMP. The fire is suspected to have started from a tree that fell onto powerlines over the affected area. Highway 1 was partially blocked with alternating traffic flow for approximately 2.5 hours while emergency crews worked to extinguish the blaze.
At 8 pm, BC Wildfire Services updated police that the fire was fully extinguished and the highway was re-opened to traffic in both directions. This incident almost led to the evacuation of residents in the Blaeberry area.