Rapid response wildland vehicle provides increased capacity
Pemberton, BC – The newest addition to the Garibaldi Village Volunteer Fire Department (GVFD) made its debut over the weekend.
In November, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) announced it had upgraded the Garibaldi Volunteer Fire Department’s (GVFD) firefighting fleet with the addition of a new rapid response wildland truck, increasing the department’s ability to fight wildfires.
On Sunday, the vehicle was used in its initial attack, helping to quickly contain a wildfire at Lucille Lake, within the established fire protection boundary of the GVFD.
At 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 9, the GVFD was called to investigate smoke reported near Lucille Lake; the fire department, along with BC Wildfire Service, confirmed a half-hectare rank 2 and 3 wildfire and proceeded with an aggressive initial attack. By noon, the fire was contained and under control. GVFD was left to monitor the site and attack hot spots, as high winds picked up throughout the day and into the evening.
As GVFD Chief Dan Ross explains, use of the rapid response wildland truck was vital in containing this fire quickly and preventing would could have become a much more serious, and destructive, incident.
“We have said from the beginning that this new wildland truck would be a game-changer for our department, and we saw that first-hand over the weekend,” Ross said. “This is exactly the type of scenario where we need this vehicle. Having access to this truck, to help us attack this fire, meant we could do this job quickly, and contain the fire before it could get away on us. Wildfire is unpredictable; these tools give us the best chance of having that upper hand and preventing a worst-case scenario situation.”
The SLRD contributed $100,000 to the purchase of the vehicle, with the additional funds contributed by the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, Woodfibre LNG, and the GVFD Society.
“The contribution toward this truck was money well spent,” said SLRD Electoral Area D Director, Tony Rainbow. “This is an investment that will pay off in the protection of our communities,” he said. “Having rapid response to any fire within our fire protection boundary is critical, as we have seen in other parts of B.C. and Canada how wildfires can spread very quickly if not contained in the early stages. The SLRD is grateful to the GVFD team and their ongoing work and commitment to their community.”
Wildland vehicles are rapid response fire trucks specifically designed to transport firefighters, water, pumps, hoses, and other equipment to the scene, with the ability to drive through rough terrain.
The new vehicle was unveiled at a ceremony on November 28, 2022, hosted by the GVFD and attended by Rainbow, Ross and additional representatives from the GVFD and the SLRD.
The SLRD manages two volunteer fire departments in Howe Sound East/ Area D (GVFD and the Britannia Beach Volunteer Fire Department) and provides financial contributions to a number of other established volunteer fire services.
Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
Phone: 604.894.6371 x260