Seventeen families turned out on Sunday, Feb. 20, at the home of Donna and John Kibble, to discuss the feasibility of forming a volunteer fire department in their area.
The Kibbles hosted the discussion for residents from the area of East Barriere Lake, South Barriere Lake, and Barriere Lakes Road east of the summit.
“We thought it was time to do something,” said Donna Kibble, “Forming a volunteer fire department here is something that has been talked about for the last 30 years.”
Kibble agreed that last December’s loss of a Barriere Lakes Road home due to fire, and the tragic death of the property owner, Robert Laskiewicz, certainly provided incentive to host the discussion. Although the Barriere Fire Department and Forestry were called to attend the fire both declined due to their mandates.
“We don’t have any fire protection of any kind in this area,” said Kibble, “The Barriere Fire Department can’t come out here, and Forestry will only come in the summer if there is a threat that a fire will spread to the trees.”
Kibble reported that the two hour meeting discussed many items to be considered in forming a volunteer fire department in the area.
“We talked about people becoming firemen,” said Kibble, “We had many who were willing to become firefighters but we need more information on the training and physical requirements.”
She noted discussion also took place regarding working with the Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD) to create the department. “We’ve already spoken with TNRD Area ‘O’ director Bonnie CruzelleMyram, as well as Lyle Huntley at the TNRD office,” said Kibble, “It will be up to the TNRD now to make some decisions and for us to find out if there is funding available from them.”
Kibble says she was very encouraged by the amount of interest shown from the community in forming a department.
“We know it will put taxes up, but our fire insurance premiums will go down – hopefully they will equal out,” said Kibble, “This isn’t a sure thing. It’s a lengthy process, and it may, or it may not happen; but hopefully at some point the community will be able to vote on having a fire department.”
With some 150 to 200 properties involved in the area Kibble says they are hoping to hold another meeting for the community in approximately two months time “when more information has been made available”.
For more information call Donna Kibble at 250-672-5672.