The Burns Lake Fire Department is moving to a new location after 50 years.
Yesterday (Wednesday), the Village of Burns Lake announced the department would be receiving about $3.2 million dollars from the federal government to upgrade what used to be Moonlight Auto into a new station.
Fire Chief Rob Krause said a larger building is something that’s been on the department’s wish list for a while.
“In the 1990s, the Office of the Fire Commissioner did a needs analysis, and they identified the fire hall was too small for the current activity.”
The current building was constructed in 1970 and opened in 1972 after moving from what is now the Lakeside Multiplex.
While it’s been something the department’s wanted, a 2017 Worksafe ruling in Creston, BC made finding a larger building a necessity.
The village purchased the building in 2022, which Krause said was perfectly timed.
“We had just purchased the building and were working on a preliminary design and cost estimate so that council could try and decide where to find the money when the grant stream came out.”
He added it used to be called the gas tax and because designs were already in progress, they were able to submit an application last June.
The federal grant is covering the renovations, including installing wider garage bay doors, adding a training room, along with Worksafe requirements.
“That’s things like decontamination showers, additional washrooms for the number of firefighters we have. We need an exhaust removal system to remove the diesel exhaust from the trucks when they start in the hall.”
Krause added the building’s siding would be replaced, “So it looks more like a firehall and less like a garage.”
He also confirmed a fire pole would not be installed in the new hall.
Currently, there are no confirmed plans for what the current fire hall will be used for.
Some ideas Krause shared include the village using it to house their servers, storage for the Municipalities Emergency Support Services response trailer and equipment, and potentially storage for archived files the village must keep.
The current projected completion date is May 19th, 2024.