VIDEO: Firefighters get fit to fight B.C.’s forest fires

Daily training for wildland fire fighters includes running, endurance and strength training

One of the BC Wildfire crews got their daily workout under the hot morning sun on Wednesday in Hope.

The Trailblazer Unit Crew ran drills carrying hoses, machinery and full fuel cans in the field of the Twin Rivers Education Centre, led by Vincent Selina. They are just one of several crews of 20 Type 1 firefighters around the province, and they are based out of the Haig Fire Base.

But BC Wildfire Service says their unit crews “establish pump and hose lines, dig fire guards, burn off fuel from the fire’s path, and use chainsaws to cut fuel breaks and remove danger trees.”

Once out on a call, unit crew personnel could live in camp and work for up to 14 days in a row, meaning their endurance and stamina need to be at peak form. BC Wildfire Service also employs initial attack crews, rapattack crews, parattack crews, and contract crews. Earlier this year, they trained young people from the Fraser Valley in a special spring break training camp based out of Rosedale Traditional School.

READ MORE: Chilliwack churns out new generation of wildfire fighters

While this summer has been less dramatic in ways of forest fires and drifting smoke, crews are still busy with several fires throughout the province. And Environment Canada has issued heat warnings for the Fraser Canyon and the inland areas of the north and central coast.

The Fraser Canyon was expected to hit 36 C on Wednesday and Thursday before cooling off slightly on Friday.


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jpeters@theprogress.com

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