The 20-foot SPU trailer. Darrell Pyke stopped by in 100 Mile House on May 9 while driving it to Prince George where it will be stationed. Brendan Kyle Jure photo.

WASP offers sprinkler systems to help protect homes from wildfires

‘What we’re trying to do is make people aware that there are products out there’

Fire season has come early. According to the BC Wildfire Service fire map, there have been several fires burning already throughout the province, including one in Deka Lake earlier in May.

“It’s a world-wide issue. I think you have to live under a rock to not know or see the news about how many structures and homes are being lost every year to wildfires,” said Darrell Pyke, the co-founder and technical director of WASP (Wildfire Automated Sprinkler Systems) who passed through 100 Mile House on May 9.

Pyke, a former wildfire contractor who attended the 2003 Terrace Mountain Wildfire and the Peace River wildfire in 2016, founded WASP seven years ago with his partner, Randy Cowling. The company holds the patent to a gutter-mounted sprinkler system that can be deployed from the ground.

“We have automated systems [the Ministry of] Forestry (MoF) and fire departments can set up in a small community, maybe around a trailer park. They’re able to control those systems with off their cellphones or a laptop,” he said.

The sprinklers are also available to homeowners. The sprinklers are low consumption and just hook up to a house’s gutter, requiring only a garden hose to protect the average-sized home. A bracket was also developed to help set it up on residences without a gutter.

The sprinkler, which sprays water in an 80-foot radius (40 on the roof, 40 for the back/front yard), can be placed on a timer.

“You don’t need a thousand gallons of water to protect a home. The way we protect it is from the roof down, that’s where you are going to get your ember attacks,” said Pyke.

He added that 80-90 per cent of homes lost during a wildfire is due embers landing on the roof and going into gutters, which then allow the embers to fall on wood piles or shrubbery, starting a fire.

“We are currently negotiating with three of the fire chiefs in the local area -Forest Grove, Lac la Hache and 100 Mile House,” said Pyke about WASP’s community program where they give fire departments the product to sell at their community events. “Part of the proceeds go directly into their fire department.

According to Pyke, WASP has over 100 fire departments involved in the program over the past two years in B.C. and Alberta.

They can be purchased from their website, www.waspwildfire.com.

WASP also has ten trailers called Sprinkler Protection Units (SPU) contracted to the MoF. They are about 20-foot in size and store enough gear to protect 100 homes each, including several hundred sprinklers, 15,000 feet oh hose of different types as well as four pumps and generators.

Pyke said the trailers can be deployed quickly and are manned by a four-person crew with two pickup trucks. WASP is working with a company based in Quesnel and Lumby called Seneca.

The company does tree planting as well as fight wildfires during the summertime with over several hundred people aboard.

Seneca provides the four people for each trailer.

Four of the trucks are stationed in the Prince George Fire Centre, another four are in Lumby in the Kamloops Fire Centre. The remaining two are based in the Vancouver area. Currently, there are none stationed in the Cariboo Fire Centre. Pyke said they were stationed strategically around the province.

“The trailers aren’t dedicated to that district. So for example, if there was an issue in 100 Mile House or 70 Mile House they would just call up which trailer is strategically closer or available. If there was a couple of trailers available in that Lumby area, they would just bring it up with a crew within hours, or even down from Prince George.”


newsroom@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

CRD develops internal policy for single-use plastics for its own operations

Chair Margo Wagner said the CRD is proud to be taking steps to reduces its environmental footprint

Chief calls for state of emergency and fishery closure in light of Big Bar slide in Fraser River

Chief Robbins said his own community of Esket will not fish until the slide is dealt with

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Cariboo region

Potential for strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain in the afternoon

Crime Stoppers looking for gas station donation container thief

The 100 Mile House RCMP report for July 9 to 15

Washout hits Highway 97 north of Cache Creek

Highway now reopened to single-lane, alternating traffic

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman sentenced to life in prison

Experts say he will likely wind up at the federal government’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

B.C. mom to go to Europe court in hopes of getting alleged abducted daughter back

Tasha Brown alleges her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

Driver who killed B.C. motorcyclist receives absolute discharge

Chase family speechless following decision by BC Review Board

Lower gas prices slow annual inflation rate to Bank of Canada’s 2% bull’s-eye

Prices showed strength in other areas — led by a 17.3 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

B.C. moves to preserve 54 of its biggest, oldest trees

Fir, cedar, spruce, pine, yew set aside from logging

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Most Read