One of eight homes along Nighthawk Road that were lost to the Okanagan Centre wildfire. Image Credit: Barry Gerding/Black Press

Generous donation allows Lake Country fire department to purchase new equipment

The sprinkler will help the department create a defendable zone

The Lake Country fire department has a new tool in its arsenal to combat fires this season.

“We purchased, through the help of a donation from a resident along Nighthawk Road, a large sprinkler unit. His home was one of the houses impacted by the fire,” said fire chief Steve Windsor. “It gives us the ability to set up a defendable zone between the interface and homes, so it’s only good where there are fire hydrants.”

The $35,000 sprinkler will help in the event of a fire where crews have time to set it up and leave it to protect homes, but it wouldn’t stop a wildfire the size of the one that destroyed eight homes on Nighthawk Road.

“The fire came through there so quickly… there was no time,” said Windsor.

About 14 fire engines and eight aircraft with tenders, boats and bush trucks battled the blaze that sparked in July, he said.

“When you get that high temperature and that steep slope with the wind behind you, there’s pretty much no stopping it,” said Windsor. “We’re hoping that we don’t have to use it, but in a situation, if we need to, we’ve got one.”

The wildfire was deemed an arson. Windsor said the department is doing its usual preparation of equipment for the oncoming fire season.

The fire department currently has six full-time employees with 55 paid-on-call employees.

Next week is Emergency Preparedness Week in Canada, from May 6 to 12. Books are available on location at Lake Country’s fire halls which offer FireSmart tips.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


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