Fire departments face access problem

The TNRD board members received legal advice that the regional district can’t cover non-TNRD-operated departments with a bylaw

Several volunteer fire departments have asked Thompson-Nicola Regional District to take them over, according to a blog posting by Mel Rothenburger, TNRD director for Area P (Rivers and the Peaks).

One issue has been legal access to private property in the event of a fire.

According to Rothenburger, during a recent committee of the whole meeting, the TNRD board members received legal advice that the regional district can’t cover non-TNRD-operated departments with a bylaw.

That would mean that, in order to fight a fire, members of the different departments might have to obtain permission from each property owner within their service area.

The issue is not a concern for the fire departments within Area A (Wells Gray Country), according to Area A director Carol Schaffer.

The two departments within the district, Blackpool and Vavenby, are both already operated through the TNRD.

Blue River Fire Department is operated by Blue River Improvement District.

Area B (Thompson Headwaters) director Willow MacDonald declined to comment, saying some of the discussion had been held in camera.