Mayor and staff in Port Edward are calling the handling of a brush fire that broke out in the community on July 4 a resounding success thanks to the work of fire crews from around the region.
“We had an excellent response from the fire department and the fire chief. The channel of communication was quite good, I was able to contact council quite quickly to let them know what was happening and call staff to come into the office fairly quickly … we were able to educate members of the community quite quickly about the fire and the potential hazards,” said chief administrative officer Bob Payette at the July 14 meeting of council, noting some key people were not in Port Edward when the fire broke out.
“We have an emergency response plan in the district and I received a call from the fire chief, who is the incident commander for the fire, and he activated an emergency operations centre that included myself, staff and council. This was a good test of our plan given that myself and the mayor were away. Generally when you do tabletop planning, you include this types of scenario.”
The blaze started at approximately 5:50 p.m. and suppression efforts included a number of water bombers and B.C. Wildfire Service personnel. In addition to out of town help, Mayor Dave MacDonald said the response from those who call the North Coast home was key to managing the situation.
“I want to thank council and our fire crew, but also the City of Prince Rupert had their fire crew on the scene as well and they all worked well together. They did an excellent job. Nobody was hurt, no residences were lost and, as far as I am concerned, they did a great job,” he said, noting an investigation into the cause of the blaze is ongoing.