Wilderness fires no match for new fire truck

Rachel Lallouz, Lookout The new range truck, used to fight wilderness fires, at the CFB Esquimalt fire hall.

Rachel Lallouz, Lookout The new range truck, used to fight wilderness fires, at the CFB Esquimalt fire hall.

Rachel Lallouz, Staff Writer ~

A new half million dollar fire truck is set to tackle brush fires on DND property and, when called upon, the Greater Victoria area.  

The fire hall’s new Range Truck is the only one of its kind on the Island, and is designed to carry two fire fighters at high clearance over hotspots and freshly burned ground.

“Its high centre of gravity will make it perfect for combatting fires in underdeveloped areas and wildland dense with trees,” says Fire Chief Steve Mullen, who adds people need only think back to the summer fires in Kelowna to be reminded of how quickly forest fires can spread without proper extinguishment measures.

Nozzles running along the truck’s underside can shoot water and foam onto ground that is still smoldering.

The truck also has forward ground sweeps, nozzles that can shoot a foam or water path out in front of the truck and enable it to move closer to a fire.

If a forest fire has extended up into the tops of the trees, the truck’s bumper turret can fire water directly upwards, knocking down flames that are typically difficult to reach. In the event that water isn’t helping reduce the fire, the truck’s Compressed Air Foam system carries two 25-gallon tanks of Class A Foam to help extinguish stubborn flames.

“These features will allow the truck to move through a critical area when fire fighters are responding, and allow the fire fighters to relocate to different points in the brush more easily in the event of a wind shift,” says Chief Mullen.

Because the truck holds 1,200 gallons of water, it can also act as a water-supply vehicle to other firetrucks.

Once all base fire fighters have been trained to use the vehicle, Chief Mullen says it will be put in service around mid-June.

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