In response to concerns raised to the Courier by local residents about the possibility of grassfires generated during the BATUS life fire training excises being carried out between May 4 and June 2, CFB Suffield has released the following statement:
Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Suffield is prepared to respond to any fires generated by military training. There are soldiers participating in each exercise that are highly skilled in firefighting and are ready to douse any grass fires that might ignite during military training. To provide additional firefighting support, there are several Field Operations Section crews that operate out of three field fire stations within the Range and Training Area (RTA) to minimize response times in remote training locations. There are also numerous water access points placed strategically throughout the RTA.
Additionally, CFB Suffield Fire Services, a fire department staffed by 33 full-time firefighters, provides support to fire suppression efforts, emergency medical response and rescue services. They respond to fires that affect infrastructure, vehicles and fires in the training area that approach or go outside the perimeter of the RTA. CFB Suffield Fire Services has mutual aid agreements with Cypress Country and The City of Medicine Hat to provide or request additional firefighting support, as required. CFB Suffield Fire Services is the first responder responsible for a designated area in Cypress Country surrounding the base as part of the agreement.
“The emergency fire situation in Fort McMurray has understandably raised some concern in the region about what fire safety measures are in place locally,” said Lieutenant-Colonel John Scott, Base Commander, CFB Suffield. “We want to reassure our neighbours that our fire mitigation procedures are robust, our personnel are highly trained and we are ready to respond to fires surrounding the Base community.”