Hope firefighters (from left) Richard Wells, Dave Hick and Ray Hartt pose for a photo in Williams Lake. Hick has replaced Wells on Monday, after Wells finished a six-day rotation. Hartt remained there. (Submitted photo)

SAR, firefighters contribute to provincial effort

Wildfires are surrounding Hope in all directions except south, but that has not stopped community members from heading in the direction of danger to assist in provincial efforts.

To the north, wildfires are burning around the Ashcroft-Cache Creek area as well as in the Cariboo, around Williams Lake and 100 Mile House.

Firefighters head north

Three men have answered the call to assist the latter fire. They are Richard Wells, Ray Hartt and Dave Hick, all of which have years of service in fire departments. On Monday, Wells returned to Hope after a six-day rotation to return to work as Hick heads north, replacing Wells. Hartt continues fighting fires hundreds of kilometres from Hope.

Asked how likely a fire will happen in Hope, DeSorcy said the likelihood exists, although Hope’s climate is less arid compared to parts of the Interior. He warned that a fire that happened last Tuesday evening just outside of Hope had an aggressive “fire behaviour.”

“The fuels on the ground are very dry and they’re certainly going to burn very quickly, so the potential is certainly is there,” said DeSorcy, adding that this is the reason for the campfire and burning ban.

DeSorcy said provincial firefighters brought a helicopter to “bucket” that fire, despite it being a small fire measuring only five-by-five metres.

Hope SAR goes east

As a fire burns towards the east of Hope, near Princeton, Hope Search and Rescue (SAR) manager Mario Levesque led evacuation efforts there on July 10 as part of a seven-person team from Hope.

Based in the Princeton Regional Airport, Levesque led both Hope and Princeton’s SAR teams, numbering about 27-28 persons, who went door-to-door during the evacuation process.

Hope SAR left eastbound at 7 a.m. and returned to Hope at 12:30 a.m. on July 11.

Read the full story in the July 20 edition of The Standard.