VICTORIA - Construction will start this week on a $1.2-million firefighting centre in Valemount, Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond announced today, on behalf of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson.
The two-storey structure will replace the Wildfire Management Branch's existing trailer complex on property leased from the Village of Valemount. The 350-square-metre building will house a fire zone office and initial attack base, featuring an operations centre, staff offices, briefing room, workshop and fire crew facilities.
The centre will be better equipped to accommodate regional firefighting operations and will also support other Wildfire Management Branch priorities such as fuel management. It's expected to be fully operational by the start of the 2013 fire season.
The Valemount project, which was announced in the 2012-13 budget, is being built by Mierau Contractors Ltd.
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson -
"The B.C. government is committed to safeguarding the well-being of B.C.'s families and protecting our natural resources and infrastructure. Valemount's upgraded facility will strengthen firefighting operations in the region."
Shirley Bond, MLA for Prince George-Valemount -
"I am very pleased to mark the next step in the construction of the new fire centre in the Robson Valley. This project will provide economic benefits to the Valemount area and enhance firefighting efforts as well. Local fire crews can look forward to working out of a top-notch building next spring."
- The Valemount Fire Zone is currently home to two full-time staff and 11 seasonal staff, including two auxiliary staff and three three-person initial attack crews.
- British Columbia's crews fight, on average, more than 2,000 wildfires each year.
- About 92 per cent of all wildfires in B.C. are contained at less than four hectares.
- When not fighting wildfires, fire crews assist with local fuel management activities.
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations: http://www.gov.bc.ca/for
Wildfire Management Branch: http://www.bcwildfire.ca
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Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations