The Invermere Fire and Rescue Service will stage live burn training for its members later this year, after getting the go-ahead from Invermere council last week.
With many new members among the volunteer service’s ranks, fire chief Roger Ekman said the training will give firefighters valuable on-scene experience they would otherwise have to gain during an emergency situation.
“Training in a simulator is all fine and good,” he wrote in a letter to council. “However, live burn training puts all the pieces of the puzzle into one package.”
This will be the first time the fire service has been able to conduct this kind of exercise in about six years — when the district council at the time turned down requests to conduct live burning training because of air quality concerns.
But district CAO Chris Prosser said the firefighters are planning to do the burn at a property on the edge of town, which will be stripped of hazardous materials such as asphalt shingles in advance.
“It’s removed from the community, it’s kind of segregated from the community. It’s in a safe area… and we would achieve the training the fire department has been looking forward to,” Prosser said.
The department also plans to invite other fire services in the area to the exercise.