The Keremeos Fire Department will be better equipped to extinguish wildfires with the addition of a truck with a low volume, high pressure water pump. The truck and other upgrades were funded through a grant from the Union of BC Municipalities on June 9, 2020. (Contributed)

Keremeos Volunteer Fire Department receives $25k grant

Money used on a truck with low volume, high pressure water pump to fight wildfires

The folks at the Keremeos Volunteer Fire Department have some new toys at their disposal.

The fire department was recently the recipient of a $25,000 grant from the Union of BC Municipalities.

The grant was used entirely to replenish the department’s forestry firefighting equipment, something fire chief Jordy Bosscha said the department was lacking.

Specifically, the grant was used to purchase a truck equipped with a low volume, high pressure water pump, as well as other water dispersal equipment. The truck will help the fire department best utilize the scarce water supply, in the rural protection area where fire hydrants are scarce.

In the grant application, the department noted that it is a small group tasked with covering a large area of diverse terrain, making the truck a necessary upgrade to protect Keremeos and the surrounding areas.

“The arid summer months, combined with the effects of global warming, have seen wildland protection equipment taxed to the limit over the last few years. Conditions are forecast to only get worse,” reads the application. “With additional wildland-fire-suppression-equipment we will be able to provide better protection to our vast coverage area, by allowing us to deploy to multiple locations.”

A quick and efficient initial response, when a brush fire is called in, can contain the source before it becomes a wildfire. This, and the fact that global warming is making preparation even more imperative in arid climates, means that the upgrades were much needed, explained Bosscha. “Having the proper tools at hand affords our department the best chance for a successful outcome.”

READ MORE: Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

READ MORE: Penticton photographer publishes book showcasing resilience of Okanagan people


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