Authorities are asking for the public’s help after discovering that fire fighting equipment has been stolen from the Merry Creek wildfire site near Castlegar.
Crews performing a perimeter check on Sunday, July 11, discovered that critical emergency fire fighting suppression equipment was missing. The theft occurred sometime between 7 p.m. on July 10 and that morning.
The Regional District of Central Kootenay says the equipment is worth about $2,000. The missing equipment includes over 1,000 feet of forestry hose and six sprinklers. It had been deployed and set up to protect a home in the 500 block of Highway 3.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Castlegar RCMP’s non-emergency line at 250-365-7721.
“It is extremely disappointing and hard to imagine why anyone would steal this important, life saving equipment,” said Nora Hannon, RDCK regional fire chief. “We want to make sure everyone in the community is aware the theft has occurred and ask anyone with information to please come forward to Castlegar RCMP.”
The RDCK says the equipment is essential for their departments to operate safely during wild land firefighting activities and to protect homes and other infrastructure. The increase in fires across the province is also making finding suppression equipment difficult.
The Merry Creek wildfire started July 1 and grew to over 15 hectares. BC Wildfire Service along with Ootischenia, Robson, Trail and Castlegar Fire Departments spent three days battling the wildfire. No structures were lost in the fire.
Ootischenia Fire Department continues to conduct daily monitoring of the area, walking the fire perimeter looking for hot spots to prevent any potential fire spread.