Gun Lake was on Alert in September, not at fire risk but due to risk that Road 40 could be closed near Moha due the McKay Creek Fire K71030 burning down the mountain.
Gun Lake was on Alert from May 31th through to July;
Other areas in the valley such as Tyaughton Lake and Gun Creek Road were also under evacuation orders.
Because of the Tyaughton Fire K70216 which burned of 6 - 7 weeks, just under 10,000 hectares.
As I was heading up the stairs to go to the dump, when I heard my wife go down hard and then the yell for help. She had fallen and dislocated her shoulder with a possible break. Not wanting to cause more damage, I called our friend Linda, a retired nurse for help, and then GLFPS on the radio for their help, we have 60 plus stairs to climb to the road. Linda, was here in 5 minutes and others in 10, shortly there after Al, Ian and Tera our level 3 first aid, and then a whole crew with their equipment.
The medical people stabalized my wife, while the fire crew rigged up their equipment to get her up the 60 odd stairs. Ian went for the ambulance and the ambulance chair to climb the stairs.
We got her onto the ambulance chair to climb the stairs, that was the hardest and most painful.
The trip up the stairs took less than 5 minutes, with crew pulling from above and lifting from below.
The ambulance arrived at the Lillooet hospital around 6:30PM. They x-rayed her [No Break - Thanks God], sedated her to put the shoulder back in and discharged her 3 hours later.
As it turn out, Gun Lake Fire doesn't just fight fires, we provide other Emergency Services
Photo & credit to Norris Girling
Jul 21, 2019 GLFPS responded to a fire above Stafford Road early
Sunday morning, 11 members worked the fire and 2 members worked communications. It was a rank 2 fire
approximately 5m x 5m on a 70% slope.
The fire was cold-trailed by 8:30 AM.
Again Gun Lake was very lucky. We had had a week of rain to reduce the fire risk to low and the day of the fire the wind was very calm. This fire was within a 100m of residents.
Photo & credit to Al Leighton
GLFPS responded to a fire at Merle Hoch's on Gun Lake West. An open
burn fire got out of control very quickly and spread.
Merle and Gun Lake were very lucky. Even though this occurred just after the snow had melted, the dry condition allowed the fire to take hold and spread quickly. Everyone should understand how easily it can happen.
Photo & credit to Al Leighton
Remains of a truck fire near Vandenberg Hill. The Gun Lake Fire brigade responded to
call to deal with this truck fire, which had the potential to spread into the forest. The fire was
attacked with water from the truck tank plus several fire extinguishers. It was successfully extinguish.
There were no injuries reported, but as the picture shows, the truck appeared to be a total right off.
fire spread into the adjacent forest.
Again we were lucky, a fire in the forest on Vandenberg Hill has the potential to spread right into Gun Lake. Especially during the dry 2017 fire season.
Truck Fire in action
Photo & credit to Dave Aitken
On August 7th, 2017 lighting struck at Truax Creek on the south side of Carpenter Lake. Fire# K71730 .1 hectares reported by a Gun Lake Resident. BC Forest Services responded very quickly and put it out.
A lighting strikes east of Mount Truax
Photo credit to BC Forest Services
Lighting strikes around Gun Lake
After an extremely violent thunderstorm, BC forest services and GLFPS fought several fires started by lighting.
One of the lighting strikes was on a up hill slope on Mount Penrose looking over Downton Lake. Not well known is that one of our GLFPS member, got above the lighting strike and put in a fire break along the bench, preventing the fire from expanding further up the steep slope on Mount Penrose. Early action by GLFPS prevented a potential major fire on Mount Penrose.
Photo credit to Sheila Macdonald
Photo credit to Sheila Macdonald
Lighting strike up Sumner Creek, west side of Gun Lake, being fought by BC Forest Services crew
A major wildfire was started on May 31, 2009 by a careless camper at Pearson Pond campsite. The fire, having been put out twice but not monitored, finely established itself on third ignition. It rapidly got out of control and headed west towards Gun Creek and Gun Lake. Tyaughton Lake was evacuated and Gun Lake, Gold Bridge were on evacuation alert for over a month while the fire expanded to approximately 10,000 hectares.
Photo credit to Sheila Macdonald and Norris Girling
No sooner, than this fire was undercontrol and the evacuation alert and order lifted. The valley access was blocked by fires on both entrances. A fire across the road below the dam prevent access from Lillooet and two fire on the Hurley, one across the road before the bridge over the Lillooet River. Although these fires presented no fire risk to Gun Lake, they did present access restrictions which impacted Gun Lake and the Bridge River Valley.
A group of us on Gun Lake witnessed a lighting strike on Green Mountain. We didn't see any initial signs of fire after the strike. A short while later we observed a helicopter over Green Mountain. On further examination with binoculars we observed a crew putting out the fire from the lightning strike.
On August 20, 1994 a hot summer day Bud McStay, our Fire Warden was alerted of a fire burning at the dump, he confirmed there was a fire and volunteers were dispatched. I was called to assist with fighting the fire. This was prior to the establishment of the current transfer station. Nine volunteers responded with the single fire trailer stored at Fred Hoch's. We fought the fire for four hours, sourcing water from the slew at the entrance to the transfer station. With two 1.5" lines, we were able to contain the fire and controll it from spreading into the huge lumber pile and the forest on the northeast side of the dump site, but we did not have sufficient equipment to put the fire out. We successfully held the fire at bay for about 4 hours until a bulldozer that was requested from one of the company's working locally arrived. The bulldozer plowed over the dump extinguishing the fire.
I believe, this was the first fire the original brigade fought. We were lucky to have them, the fire trailer with pump and hoses to take early action otherwise with the high winds that day the northeast corner of Gun Lake could have been engulfed in a forest fire.
We were also lucky to have the assistance of the background workers of the Gun Lake Rate Payers Association's Fire Protection Committee who arranged for the bulldozer to be brought in while the brigade fought the fire.
Document credit to Sue Girling, GLRA secretary in 1994.
Over a May long weekend a controlled slash burn on Downton lake got out of control due to high winds. The crowning fire was heading northeast towards Gold Bridge BC. I reported the fire to BC forest services and they responded with a spotter plane, and shortly there after 5 water bombers. We watched and filmed the water bombers from Vanderburg hill. BC Forest services had the fire under control after dropping approximately 40 loads of retardent.
Photo credit to Norris Girling
A group of full and part-time residents worked together to build a “brigade” as some called it. Some of the members were Fred Hoch, Bart Bastien, Bud McStay, John Leighton, John Forber, Henry Joyal and Bill Fetterley. (I apologize for anyone I missed but the records left much to be desired and these are the names I found.) A towable fire trailer, equipped with a pump, hose and hand tools was built and was kept at Fred Hoch’s home. It was available for use when anyone was in need.
With the aid of the Gun Lake Ratepayers Association, the Squamish Lillooet Regional District worked on boundaries and a land use permit for the GLFPS so they could use the property at the junction of Gun Lake West and Lakeview Rd. for a fire structure. This was late 1994. Once the permit was obtained, the clearing of the land began. The Regional District provided a grant and Ratepayers worked hard to meet all the government’s requirements.
December 15, 1995 a bylaw was passed by the SLRD to establish a local service within a portion of the Electoral Area A for the purpose of providing a financial contribution for fire protection for our community. The community now had a base and a goal – a fire hall.
It did not take long to realize that the “Brigade” needed to distance itself from the GLRA and on March 23, 1999 the Gun Lake Fire Protection Society was incorporated. A second fire trailer was built and regular practices commenced. At some point the Society was given an older fire truck by Lillooet Fire. There was a lot of excitement over this, to say the least. There was only one problem – there were only two water access areas around the lake and once the truck was full it found the hills a real problem. It was fun while it lasted but alas, was put in storage for a number of years. It did find a new home though in about 2011. It was adopted by the Barrier Fire Department and we hope it works better for them than it did for us.
Unfortunately, on September 17, 2004 the society was struck from the registry and dissolved because financial reports had not been supplied for a number of years. Fast forward to 2009…….Along came local resident, Michelle Nortje, who noticed that it was approaching the time frame limit for reinstatement of the Society. She called a meeting at the fire site and about 10 people showed up. Positions were given and she started the documentation process for reinstatement of the Society. The GLFPS was reinstated December 23, 2010.
Today the Society is funded primarily by a parcel tax. This is a fixed amount that is added to the taxes of each property in our area of interest.
We now have three fire trailers, two of which can be towed by ATV’s, cars or small trucks. The third carries a full complement of fire equipment along with a 100 gallon water tank. This trailer takes a little more to tow it.
In 2012 we purchased 2 used shipping containers, paid the permit fees and with countless hours of volunteer labour our new building had a roof over it in the summer of 2013. We now have two secure storage areas with a large multi-purpose bay in between. We’re not finished yet – there’s a long way to go, but we’ve made a huge difference already.
Initially the GLFPS provided it’s own training, but starting in 2013 we joined with the Valley-Wide Training initiative so that more courses were available and the costs to our society were less. Training starts every May, whether it is one of the Valley-wide courses or hands-on courses or demos with our GLFPS volunteers
In 2017 the GLFPS acquired a 1991 Ford F600 wildland fire truck. The truck comes with an 18 horse independent water pump and a Foampro injection system as well as a 500 gallon water tank.
When GLFPS became a separate society from GLRA in 1999, and the role of GLF expanded to include a fire hall with expanded equipment it determined that it was underfunded. A call was put out for sponsors and the folks below responded and became GLF initial sponsors.
Helicopters owners Ernst and Alison Maas made the GLFPS a
HUGE deal! Included
the deal are 4 base station radios, 2 Garmin 60CSx GPS, 2 spine boards, 2 basket
stretchers and a
2 first aid kit including C collars, oxygen kit and spider straps.
It's nice to have friends in high places.
You know who you are, and we know too. Without your help, we wouldn't be where we are today. Thank you for all the hours you put in helping to build the fire building.
|Signal Systems||Gerry Mey|
|Transwest Helicopters||Don Humble|
|Builders World||Bud & Clair McStay|
|Acklands Grainger||Claude Chardonnens|
|Sherine Industries||Anna Vostrova|
|Jordan Litke, Polaris Land Surveying Inc||John Rose|
|Doug Enstrom, D. Engstrom Electrical Ltd.||Al Leighton|
|Ken Archer, Top Gun Towing||Dale Hull|