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Jul 22 2021

Working together to combat wildfires

Posted by Coastal GasLink

Like all of our Indigenous and community partners, Coastal GasLink is deeply concerned about the impact wildfires have on the environment and communities. Our workforce is on high alert, and crews are in place project-wide that are trained and fully equipped to suppress fires that could occur along or in proximity to the project route.

As members of local communities ourselves, our team is committed to doing everything we can to help keep each other safe. Coastal GasLink sites assess wildfire dangers every day as part of our safety program. “The risk of wildfires this season is exceptionally high, and we’re being extremely careful to diligently reduce the risk of fires,” shared Daren Giesinger, Fire Warden for Pacific Atlantic Pipeline Construction (PAPC), Coastal GasLink’s prime contractor for Sections 5 to 7.

To prevent fires, Coastal GasLink and our Prime Contractors work with the B.C. Wildfire Service, Emergency Management B.C. and local first responders to ensure our teams have the right measures, tools, and fire prevention plans in place to prevent and stop any fires.

Together with PAPC, Coastal GasLink recently opened the doors of our 7 Mile and Little Rock Lake Lodges to host about 90 firefighters from the B.C. Wildfire Service, with room for up to 300 firefighters.

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Coastal GasLink hosted Nisga'a firefighters from the B.C. Wildfire Service at 7 Mile Lodge.

“The B.C. Wildfire Service reached out about providing accommodation for their fire crews, and we were proud to be able to provide rooms for the Nisga’a Firefighting crew,” shared Daren. “It’s this type of intercommunication that helps ensure safety for all peoples in the area and helps set this project apart.”

7 Mile Lodge is strategically situated to serve as a much-needed base for the firefighters, providing them with comfortable rooms, meals, and of course internet amenities to keep them connected with loved ones.

Coastal GasLink believes that working in tandem with local authorities to fight wildfires is vital to protecting local communities.

That’s why over the past few years, we’ve continued to support local first responders like the Thornhill Firefighters Association and the Fraser Lake Fire Rescue Team with the training facilities they need to be better prepared for the frontlines.

In Thornhill, we donated $15,000 last year through TC Energy’s Build Strong program to develop an accessible and specialized rescue training facility for rural fire departments, including Thornhill’s 40-member volunteer fire department.

“The facility will make a big difference for our region’s first responders. The more we can provide lifelike rescue training experiences, the better,” said Lieutenant Shawn Giesbrecht, a 22-year veteran of the Thornhill Fire Department.

From housing firefighters and supporting local first responders, to developing plans in coordination with authorities, Coastal GasLink is committed to helping keep communities safe during this wildfire season.

“When we say safety is our number one priority, we mean it,” said Kiel Giddens, Coastal GasLink’s Public Affairs Manager. “We want to do everything we can to support Northern B.C. communities during this challenging summer.”

Let’s all play our part by being prepared and reporting all fires to *5555. For the latest wildfire information, visit: bcwildfire.ca.