Oceanside fire departments send crews to assist with Osoyoos area wildfires

Firefighters Jenny Jones (left) and Zach Mosher (right) of the Coombs-Hilliers Volunteer Fire Department are among local fire crews heading to Osoyoos to help battle wildfires. || Photo submitted by RDN
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The Errington and Coombs-Hilliers fire departments will send crews to assist with wildfires near Osoyoos, after the Office of the Fire Commissioner and the BC Wildfire Service put out a call for help.

The Errington Volunteer Fire Department sent its spare engine with a three person crew and the Coombs-Hilliers Volunteer Fire Department sent a water tender with a two person crew to assist.  Both teams will be deployed for two weeks, according to a media release from the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN).

“Our local firefighters are well trained and equipped for interface wildfire suppression and are always willing to help others in need,” said Tyler Brown, RDN chair. “We are fortunate that we have the capacity to free up some of our resources to assist this very serious situation in Osoyoos and our thoughts are with all who are affected by the wildfires.”

Jenny Jones, who joined the Coombs-Hilliers department in 2020, is one of eight female members with the department and proud to be following in her father’s footsteps. 

“I grew up being so proud of watching my father fight wildfires. He passed away in 2013 in a line of duty death,” she said. “The brotherhood and love that was shown began to open my eyes to trying a new path. I am honoured to help the communities in need during this dangerous summer situation.”

Locally, the Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department has been able to provide initial attack capacity to the Coastal Fire Centre mid island fire zone, the RDN said. Fire departments in the region are coordinating their response to minimize impacts to any one department and retain local response capacity.

The temporary support of this equipment and the crews will not affect local fire response or services within the RDN, the release said. For updates on the wildfires in B.C.’s interior, visit the BC Wildfire Service website.

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