Family that bought pumper truck helps fight wildfire near Port Alberni


Video courtesy: Danielle Marley & Jordan Vincent

When the Sproat Lake Volunteer Fire Department was getting rid of an old pumper truck three years ago the Marley’s, who own the Great Central Lake Resort and Marina north of Port Alberni, got it just in case.

On Monday night their purchase came in handy when they helped fire crews battle a blaze burning just south of Turtle Lake, near Great Central Lake.

“We heard through the grapevine that they were getting rid of a pump truck, and it would be a great thing to have on hand in case of an emergency,” said Danielle Marley.

“We’re out here surrounded by forest and if something was to happen we don’t have the luxury of a fire hydrant,”

After a friend let them know about a glow in the sky around 10 p.m. Monday they contacted 911 and were forwarded them to the Coastal Fire Center, who knew there possibly was a wildfire and had sent a crew.

Knowing they had water onboard the truck Danielle, her husband Mark, a family friend Jordan Vincent and the family’s caretaker Rob Wilson drove down some of the logging roads and arrived at the fire.

“We found it down on Turtle Maine and met a fellow from Coastal Fire who said we could go ahead and empty the water we had,” said Marley. “We went out in flip-flops and shorts into the bush… we came back with another load and got the treeline pretty good.”

Crews from the Coastal Fire Centre then arrived. Using the old pumper the four continued running water throughout the night to help the firefighters tackle the 2.1-hectare wildfire.

The fire is suspected to be human-caused, the B.C. Wildfire Service says they have eight firefighters on the scene along with the Sproat Lake fire department, and that they believe the fire will not spread.

The location of the fire just south of Turtle Lake (B.C. Wildfire Service)

The location of the fire just south of Turtle Lake (B.C. Wildfire Service)

The truck was purchased three years ago, and it has been used by them primarily to water down dust on their roads and keep close while using fireworks when permitted.

“The old girl came in handy,” said Marley.

Julian KolsutJulian Kolsut

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