Quesnel Ready to Receive Firefighters
Quesnel B.C. – As Prince George welcomes the evacuees from the Cariboo, Quesnel is becoming home to a host of firefighters from out of province.“A professional camp crew came in yesterday and set up a camp at the airport, our public works staff worked very diligently with them yesterday to make sure they have everything to make the camp functional, water, septic and so on, and they have connected w them with community based suppliers to make it a very functional camp” says Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson.
Mayor Simpson says firefighting crews will start arriving today in Quesnel “We’ve been told that a hundred plus additional firefighters will be coming in, these are some of the firefighters from the other provinces and other parts of the Pacific Northwest.”
The crews will be ready to get to work on fires in the area, such as the Alexandria and Green mountain fires. Simpson says Quesnel will be a regional base, “And that there is an intention to fight more than the Alexandria and Green Mountain fires, there will be resources for fires elsewhere and they wanted to use the (Quesnel) airport as a deployment area because they want to be able to fly people around rather than put them on the roads, which are hit and miss whether they are open or available.
Simpson says additional RCMP have arrived in Quesnel as well “We are housing them at one of our high schools. The RCMP were dispersed through 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and Quesnel areas, they will be doing fire related work and relieving our local detachment to be able to get back to resourcing and core policing duties.”
Simpson says additional flight resources are also expected “We are supposed to be getting additional helicopters and fixed wing craft to deploy those crews on the fires. That’s good news for the entire region.”
Williams Lake remains on evacuation alert, and if the order is given, that would mean a further 10 thousand plus people will be expected to leave their homes and head north. But Simpson says some people are already self evacuating because the smoke is so thick in Williams Lake. “Interior Health has certainly acted very swiftly to get anybody in their system out of Williams Lake, predominantly as an advance measure of the (evacuation) alert but also because of the health concerns around the smoke.”