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October 28, 2017 4:21 am

Airtankers Arrive to Help Battle Little Bobtail Lake Blaze

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 @ 3:28 PM

Lockheed L-188 ‘Electra’ airtanker among those  assisting in battling  Little Bobtail Lake Fire – photo 250News

Prince George, B.C.- Four Air Tankers that can drop water, foam or retardant  on a fire, have been brought in to assist in battling the Little Bobtail Lake blaze.

The fire, three kilometres south of Norman Lake, has grown significantly over the last 24 hours and is now burning an area of approximately 8000 hectares.

This fire is showing unpredictable and aggressive fire behaviour.

There are 120 firefighters, five helicopters and 10 pieces of heavy equipment responding to the incident today.

Operations are running around the clock on this incident. The current objective of firefighting efforts is to protect structures in the area without compromising the safety of Wildfire Management Branch crews.

An evacuation order remains in effect for Norman Lake area.

While the area around Bednesti Lake, Berman Lake and Dahl Lake Road remains under evacuation alert, property owners in that area are strongly advised to make arrangements to prepare for an evacuation order.

Once an evacuation order comes into effect, people will not have access to their property so it is imperative to take necessary steps now.

If your primary residence is in the alert area, you should take the following steps:

  • Secure alternate accommodations (friends and family
  • Arrange a place to meet family or co-workers
  • Fill vehicle with enough fuel to get to the Reception Centre
  • Wear and pack season appropriate clothing
  • Take purse, cash & credit cards
  • Make travel arrangements
  • Medications, eye glasses, documents, photos & ID
  • Blankets, sleeping bags, books & games
  • Make arrangements for pets and take leashes, crates, pet food
  • Check 250News, the RDFFG website www.rdffg.bc.ca or Facebook page for updates
  • Collect precious photos and mementos that can’t be replaced

For further information about how to prepare your family and your property for an evacuation, visit www.gov.bc.ca\preparedbc

The Regional District has begun making preliminary arrangements in the event that group lodging is required as a result of an increased evacuation order area. People are advised that group lodging accommodation is basic, so encourage those in an alert area to make their own arrangements.

Livestock owners within an alert area should be prepared to move livestock in the event of an evacuation order.

Information about moving livestock during an emergency can be found at http://www.embc.gov.bc.ca/em/Community/agricultural-businesses-faq.pdf



Got to applaud these air and ground crews for the hard work. Stay safe!

I appreciate the efforts put in by the crews. I wonder why they are not sending in the big tankers when this should have happened from the start! I understand that this fire was created by an individual but think the Province underestimated the from the start or we would not have been in the position we are now in.

Lots of people out of work right now that would gladly help.
but I understand you now have to be certified and yet lots of loggers know how to run equipment and chainsaws.

Yes, where have the air tankers been? I thought they had some stationed here all through the fire season.
Maybe they were in California.
Too bad they couldn’t have hit this right from the start but you know fire centers, they have a lot of equipment that they want to get used, men hired and to look like they’re really doing something, to justify themselves I guess.
I mean logging contractors face fines and a whole lot of bureaucratic nonsense if they should so much as put out a small fire without following the forestry’s fire fighting manual. It doesn’t matter if the job got done promptly, if it wasn’t done according to the letter of their manual, there’s heck to pay!
This is where bureaucrats should be put out of a job.

Give more.. You do realize you just don’t send firefighters into a fire without a plan..the main part of that plan is to keep evryone alive.. They don’t need any dead heroes..you get those without a plan. There is a reason for a plan..just because you don’t understand it doenst make it a waste of money.. The incident commander will take control and do what needs to be done. There is no set manual for fighting fires..evryone is different.,there may be a guide but that’s it.

How many loggers are trained as incident commanders? Have been properly trained in battling big fires? Have been trained by a professional on the proper use of a fire extinguisher for that matter?

I agree that someone didn’t take the fire or the volatile conditions seriously from the onset or they would have used more than a few machines and a handful of firefighters on Saturday.

Most guys that run equipment in the bush have taken the necessary fire fighting course.

there has been at least one big water bomber working for at least the last two days… I have seen it flying over.

Thank you all the people fighting this fire…stay safe…

I agree with Brian. I would think the big water bombers could do a lot more, and a lot faster than ground crews. This fire is near prime recreational lakes and cabins. I hope they get a handle on it soon, because if they don’t, there’s gonna be a lot of angry finger pointing going on. This is just the beginning of the season!

How were they supposed to get everyone mobilized on a Sunday? If they had been paying 100-200 people for standby and nothing happened then people would complain about that too.

It looks to me like they had a crew of 20 on standby for the weekend, or maybe even working the weekend shift, and got them out there right away. And then called in 100 more once everyone got back to work on Monday and they realized how bad it really was, with the big bombers here by Tuesday. Seems like it’s very early in the season for this type of fire activity, and the response so far seems very good to me.

They will have a plan in place now, like was said above with an incident commander, and will do everything they can to keep the cabins & properties from burning. Stay safe and keep up the good work!

Brian, so you are a expert on forest fires.. Didn’t know that.

This is the first fire of the season using water Bombers. It takes time to get them where they are going..

Let’s hope they get control of this fire quickly..if this weather keeps up we are in for a fire filled summer.. Good thing we have Brian at the helm… He will break any law he disagrees with to get the job done

Sorry PVal but I think someone has you fooled, doubt that is the real deal “Brian” but rather a fake avatar by someone thinking they are funny

As a resident of Cluculz Lake we are quite upset that most of the media, including this 250 report, does not include reports from the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako, This area includes Bobtail and Cluculz Lake.
We are right in the line of fire of this fire. If it was not for our own Cluculz Lake Facebook page where residents are sharing the latest posts, we would be thinking we are not on alert notice. Bobtail has been evacuated and Cluculz is on alert notice. Many of our residents are packed and ready to go on a short notice.
The Fraser Fort George District has large information signs as you enter their district from the West and east to notify that evacuations and alerts are in affect. Nothing at all posted on the RDBN side!!!

Seems like they really dropped the ball on this one. Air tankers should have been deployed immediately given the current weather forecast, fuel load and closeness of houses/cabins. Why wait until the fire is massive. I applaud those on the front lines but a big mistake by managers not to send in an appropriate resources as soon as the fire was reported and much much smaller.

Slinky I know the poster isn’t snakum..lol.

I think the delay in the tanker arrival was based on the tankers not being ready for a forest fire of this magnitude at this time of year. They had to be prepared for the season. This would also explain why they were not using helicopters even though the nature of the fire required a more intensive response to start with the problem. We are fortunate that the fire is isolated and so far its impact has been on activities in the wilderness as opposed to damaging structures.

This fire is moving very fast for the little wind we’ve been having. Its surprising to see how far it moves in just a few hours. I agree with Junebug that its westerly direction is where the bulk of this is heading and at this rate will probably cross the highway somewhere west of Brookside… but if its creating its own winds it could swirl off in any which direction.

Lots of valuable resources going up in smoke with this one. Most of the area burning now was ready to be cleared of bio fuels for the local pallet plants with spring break up ending. Its a tremendous amount of lost potential and jobs burning up that will directly effect the available resources in years ahead.

Gotta love armchair fire fighters.

Minion2014, choppers have been on this fire from the start.

P Val: What I was talking about is this; a small fire was spotted in a logging block. The crew was called to it, they got to work and put it out in a few minutes. It was just getting started. Out, over, done with. Then the contractor reported it to the Forestry. The logging crew went back to work.
Forestry was madder than wet hens because they weren’t notified first. According to their 29 page fire management manual, (its probably bigger than that now) they are to be called first, so they can send someone out to assess the situation, determine a course of action, get all the equipment and men needed to fight it and (ha, ha,) “action” the fire.
(That’s the most stupid term I’ve ever heard.)
Anyway, if the contractor had done what the Forestry wanted, the entire logging operation would have been shut down, the fire would have grown to an immense size, there could have been injuries or loss of equipment, a lot of very valuable timber would have been burned, days would have been needed to get it out at who knows how many thousands of dollars of cost to the taxpayers.
The contractor was fined and severely dressed down for not following “the procedure” as laid out in the “Manual”.
That’s the kind of bureaucratic nonsense I’m talking about. Its completely unnecessary and quite frankly, right out to lunch.
So what happened with this fire? There is never “the rest of the story” told.

Hey Eagleone. If there’s a chance of it crossing the highway west of Brookside, there might be a problem for cabin owners on the south side of Cluculz perhaps…and by the way, is it quite smoky at the lake?

7 large helicopters waiting at airport to be hired???

I think there is some confusion here about the aircraft being used on this fire.

The heavy air tankers have been flying out of the airport since the beginning of the fire. Those are a 4 engine Electra (the plane in the photo) and two engine Convairs. They have to return to the airport to be refilled after they drop their loads.

Yesterday’s news was that four Air Tractor Fire Boss aircraft are being brought in. They are smaller aircraft that can drop their load, then refill by skimming one of the nearby lakes.

On a personal note, I suspect I’d last less than half an hour on a fire line before needing replacement. Gotta admire the young people who can handle the heat and smoke and labour.

Please make sure you have all the information on a subject before making comments. The amount of mis-information or lack of information on this fire topic is staggering.

you hit the nail on the head…more people beaking off when they have no idea what they are talking about….especially the poster named Brian Skakun. Big tankers have been flying since Saturday as well as the helis.
The Fire Boss were just brought in. Get correct info before you post……

jbi007sa, no kidding! T

The day the MoF blows a gasket over anyone extinguishing a fire is the day pigs fly outta ……………

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