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Biggest turnout for South Green Lake Fire Department Community Day

Ken Alexander’s column to the Free Press
A couple of young ladies look over the local FireSmart gift table, which was displayed by Bravo Neighbourhood committee member Deb Hughes on the right. (Ken Alexander photo)

There was a very good turnout for the annual Community Day event at the South Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department (SGLVFD) Hall on Aug. 5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Pat Graham, who was the Auxiliary Coordinator for the event, said Community Day went very well and there was a great turnout.

“We sold out of all the hotdogs, buns and all the ice cream,” Graham said. “The Kids Table was a big success and lots of kids participated. Tracy Conners and Susan Palmer did a great job.”

She noted the weather was great, which helped to bring lots of people out.

“We only have a few pies left. Hopefully, they will all go soon.

“All in all, it was a great day.”

Full- and part-time residents started to enter the Fire Hall at 11 a.m. sharp and many of them headed straight to a table where the pies the SGLVFD Auxiliary members made were on sale.

Many visitors who purchased the frozen pies headed out of the Fire Hall to refrigerate the pies, but most of them came back to enjoy the fun and interesting things to do at the Community Day event and enjoyed chatting with friends and neighbours.

SGLVFD Fire Chief Roger Graham said Community Day was a fantastic event with a huge crowd attending. He added the weather cooperated which resulted in a constant flow of people attending.

“All of the events were very well attended, including the events for kids of all ages.”

SGLVFD trainer Del Westfall said it was the biggest Community Day turnout he had seen in the 30 years he has been involved.

Westfall and SGLVFD trainer Dave Plenert organized the setup of a wildfire sprinkler demonstration.

Sprinklers are considered to be a good last line of defence against a wildfire event.

Westfall and Plenert also took orders from visitors for the sprinklers. They had one visitor put in a purchase order for the sprinklers, and Westfall said there were four or five other people interested.

“It’s August and the wildfire risk is low here, so we expected the interest to be limited,” he added.

Fire Chief Graham noted the FireSmart booths did very well.

Local FireSmart Representatives Bob Bell and Ken Alexander were busy talking to visitors about how their homes, cabins and properties could be made more resilient against wildfires with a little bit of work and some changes to their buildings and properties by FireSmarting them at a minimal cost.

Bell greeted visitors and handed out booklets on FireSmart self-assessment. He also showed them the map he made of the Green Lake area which pointed out how close wildfires had burned near South Green Lake during the past 100 years. The map showed it isn’t a matter of if a wildfire will threaten South Green Lake. It’s really a matter of when we will have a wildfire event at the lake.

On August 18, a small wildfire flared up at nearby Tin Cup, but water bombers knocked it down in quick order before it spread very far, and BC Wildfire Service crews also attended.

South Green Lake residents were fortunate the wind storm that day didn’t blow the flames towards Green Lake.

Meanwhile, protecting our properties and buildings starts at our homes/cabins by doing self-assessments.

Alexander can provide free help with the self-assessments if the property owners or their delegates do it with him. He can be reached at 250-456-7496 or at so property owners can set up a date and time with him for the self-assessments.

The LFRs, with the help of Bravo Neighbourhood committee member Deb Hughes, handed out FireSmart gifts to the people who talked to them. The local FireSmart crew handed out a bag of gifts to one of the lucky people who signed up for a draw. The winner was Al Osborne at 1251 Green Lake South Road.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) also had a presence on Community Day.

TNRD FireSmart Coordinator Dan Funk had a FireSmart tent set up and he provided information and gifts for people who came up to meet him.

Funk said Community Day was a great event and it gave him an opportunity to talk to a lot of people.

The TNRD also had a recycling student at Community Day and he answered questions about recycling at the 70 Mile House Eco Depot and recycling in general. There were a lot of activities going on outside on a warm, sunny day. The children dipped nets for prizes in the fish pond. There was a relay race for the adults. There were also opportunities for visitors to use the fire hoses to spray water at targets.

“There was a lot of interest in the apparatus we have at the Fire Hall,” Fire Chief Graham said.

Firefighters also helped children climb on the apparatus and sit behind the steering wheels so they could pretend to be a firefighter for the day.

Rita Dixon, co-Neighbourhood Champion for the Gateway FireSmart Neighbourhood, collected donations on Community Day for several groups needing community support.

Our station, which was for taking donations to support the fireworks, the community cattle fence and the British Columbia Professional Firefighter Burn Unit, was well attended and supported with donations, Dixon said.

“All of these [groups] are so important to the community, and to be successful, [they] need the community’s support. Their existence depends on volunteers and donations.”

The always-popular basket raffles garnered a lot of attention on Community Day, and the lucky winners went home happy with their gift baskets. Unfortunately, Ember, the FireSmart mascot, wasn’t able to attend the Community Day event due to all of the wildfires in British Columbia. However, she hopes to be able to attend next spring’s annual Open House event and bring some joy to the youngsters and the young at heart.

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