Forest fire halted by Good Samaritans and first responders

Golden-Field, BC Highway Patrol

2023-08-18 14:48 PDT

File # 2023-1915

Quick action by first responders and Good Samaritans extinguished a forest fire in a rural residential area of Golden, BC, along the Trans Canada Highway this week.

Photo of Constable Mark Tataryn standing in a forest holding a hose and spraying water on visible flames in the background

(Cst. Mark Tataryn fighting a forest fire near Highway 1 and Forde Station Rd west of Golden, BC)

On Wednesday August 16, 2023 at approximately 4:40 PM, Constable (Cst.) Mark Tataryn with the Golden RCMP BC Highway Patrol was travelling on Highway 1 when he noticed a brush fire on the north bank of the highway near Forde Station Rd.

The fire was about 20 metres wide and travelling east, beginning to engulf large trees. Cst. Tataryn used multiple fire extinguishers from his police vehicle, the vehicles of fellow RCMP officers that attended, and other motorists’ vehicles that stopped to help.

Fortunately, a Kootenay Pumping truck was travelling on that section of the highway and was able to provide assistance to Cst. Tataryn who was already battling the flames. With the use of their pump and water lines, the group was able to slow the fire to a manageable size.

The Golden Fire Department arrived and took over from there, with the assistance of the Nicholson Fire Department, and BC Wildfire Services that attended via helicopter. Other agencies that assisted on scene were EMCON and BC Hydro, who provided vital support.

Without the quick thinking of Cst. Tataryn and staff from Kootenay Pumping, the outcome could have been devastating for the community states Corporal Lucas Sovio with the Golden-Field RCMP. A special thank you to all of the local residents, passersby and first responders who helped fight the fire. Rob Ford, Mike Faucet, Brady Hubert, Robert Cowan, and others whose names we did not get, were amongst those Good Samaritans who stopped to lend a hand.

The fire is suspected to have started from a tree that fell onto powerlines over the affected area. Highway 1 was partially blocked with alternating traffic flow for approximately 2.5 hours while emergency crews worked to extinguish the blaze.

At 8 PM local time, BC Wildfire Services updated police that the fire was fully extinguished and the highway was re-opened to traffic in both directions.

This incident almost led to the evacuation of residents in the Blaeberry area advised the Golden-Field RCMP Media Relations Officer Cst. Kat Robinson. Are you prepared for an emergency evacuation? Visit the Government of Canada’s Emergency Preparedness Guide for information and resources to get your household ready.

Photo of Constable Tataryn holding a hose and running into smoke toward an active forest fire

(Pictured on the left: Cst. Mark Tataryn running a water hose toward an active forest fire. Right: Cst. Tataryn after fire services took over control of the fire suppression efforts.)

Enhanced photo available here.

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