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Local firefighters team up to battle forest fire just south of Terrace
Two roaring fires had to be doused by a team of Thornhill Fire Department members and a provincial firefighting crew yesterday in the Jackpine Flats area just south of Terrace.
The blazes were within 1,000 feet of each other, according to Thornhill fire chief Wes Patterson.
The first one was respond to at 2:30 p.m. at Nystrom Pl. and is still being investigated.
“We responded with the crew and had it controlled and contained. We notified Forestry and they assisted,” he said.
A helicopter was used to aid in operations and the fire was snuffed within two hours, said Patterson.
The second fire was responded to at 6:20 p.m., one kilometre from Goodwin Rd. near a BC Hydro right-of-way.
“We're still investigating,” Patterson said of the second fire.
Rumours of motorcycle activity in the area cannot be confirmed or denied, Patterson explained.
“I know ATVs have been a concern throughout, but whether they had anything to do with this fire, I can't say.”
The Wildfire Management Branch was notified and members of the local initial attack crew assisted with an initial attack which included dropping water bombs.
“With the time of day and the type of brush and forest it was in, it was difficult to action,” Patterson said. “We had a busy day.”
The team was made up of 10 Thornhill firefighters plus eight ministry fire fighters using two water tender vehicles until they had it contained around midnight.
The ministry crew is conducting the final mop-up today.
“My family is grateful and thankful for all the hard work put in by forestry, the firefighters and all the volunteers. This could have been devastating for my family, our home is one kilometre below the fire line,” local Jackpine Flats resident Nicole Hendry said.
The day was not without incidents. One of the water tenders turned over on its side, but there were no injuries, Patterson said.
“We're investigating it as a near-miss incident,” he said.
“The guys work very hard and they do a great job. The guys are all volunteer and we would like them to be able to enjoy this heat at the lake rather than fighting fires, but they've all done a great job,” Patterson continued.
Patterson is hopeful the first ban that is now in place will prevent further fires in the Terrace area, but he said that if the public sees any smoke to call *5555 to report.