Wildfire Unit Crew 2019

Under the Nisga’a Lisims Government’s newly established Enforcement & Emergency Services Directorate, the Emergency Response Services Department hired 20 wildfire crew members beginning May 27 for the 2019 Fire Season. This hiring was in response to the growing threat of wildfires in the northwest. Through multiple grants, this crew has received extensive wildfire training by way of Applied Fire Solutions and purchased new Personal Protective Equipment and other supplies necessary for the work.

Throughout the fire season, the Wildfire Unit Crew will be conducting a fuel treatment project for high risk communities (Gitlaxt’aamiks and Gitwinksihlkw), running through drills and exercises in different areas of the Nass Valley, maintaining secondary access roads, and responding to reports of wildfires on Nisga’a Lands. Furthermore, in agreements with the B.C. Wildfire Service, the crew will engage in training and firefighting opportunities with the province such as mop-ups and initial attack.

As such, the crew has already been putting their skills to good use. They were called by B.C. Wildfire Service to do mop-up on the Kalum Lake fire. They also responded to a house fire on Gosnell Crescent in Gitlaxt'aamiks and put out many spot fires and kept the fire from spreading uphill. On July 8, the crew responded to a fire caused by lightning on Tankers road in Irene Meadows. 

When asked about the challenges of the intensive training for the crew, Emergency Response Manager Anthony Moore said, "It has been an ongoing learning experience for our crew of getting tips and tricks and adapting them the following week." But regarding the positive aspects of the training, he added,"our debriefing with the crews after responding to an emergency has been the most positive. Hearing the excitement and willingness to keep going with training and drills knowing they are protecting our homes and families."

The 20 person crew is organized into 4 squads. Each squad has 1 Crew Leader, 1 Medic, 1 Sawyer and 2 Fire Crew Members.

1.      ALPHA SQUAD:     Crew Leader – Luke Mueller, Medic – Cory Bolton, Sawyer – Harold McDames, Crew – Vincent Robinson & Derek Sampare

2.      BRAVO SQUAD:    Crew Leader – Roderick Robinson, Medic – Alvin Lee Mckay, Sawyer – Garth Monroe, Crew Daniel Boucknet & Aiden Clayton

3.      CHARLIE SQUAD: Crew Leader – Curtis Robinson, Medic-Brent Mckay, Sawyer – Gilbert Morven,  Crew – Skyler Guno & Terry Clayton

4.      DELTA SQUAD:     Crew Leader – Ron Winter, Medic – Maverick Moore, Sawyer – William Clayton, Crew – Lorne Campbell & Warren White

To report a wildland fire, the department can be reached at Nisga’a Lisims Government at 250-633-3000 during business hours. To report a wildfire outside of business hours, BC Wildfire Service should be called at 1-800-663-5555.

Below is helpful information that can be provided when calling in a report of a fire:

  • Locationi.e. Where is the fire? How far up the hillside? Closest intersection?
  • Size: e.g. Metres? Hectares? Size of a house? Size of a football field?
  • Rate of spread: i.e. How quickly is the fire spreading?
  • Fuel: i.e. What is burning? Grass, bushes, trees?
  • Smoke/flames: i.e. What colour is the smoke? Are flames visible?
  • Threat: i.e. Are there any people or buildings at risk?
  • Action: i.e. Is anyone fighting the fire?

Thank you to Wildfire Crew for their dedication and hard work!


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