Community Forest donates structure protection unit

The Sechelt Fire Department has a new Structure Protection Unit (SPU) thanks to a $110,000 donation from the Sunshine Coast Community Forest.

The SPU looks like a large industrial trailer from the outside, but inside are all the pumps, hoses, temporary water reservoirs and sprinklers needed to protected more than two dozen homes by keeping the roofs, walls and surrounding area damp to prevent embers from igniting the structures.

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The keys to the unit were turned over just before the Community Forest’s June 10 public event on urban interface wildfire prevention at Chatelech Secondary in Sechelt.

The SPU will be owned and maintained by the Sechelt Fire Department, but will be available to all six Sunshine Coast fire departments as part of the existing mutual aid and equipment sharing agreements.

It takes a team of five to deploy the unit. The Community Forest is also donating $10,000 to cover the cost of training firefighters from Sechelt and other Coast communities to use the equipment.

Several local fire department members have already seen the units in action during rotations to the Interior over the past two wildfire seasons.

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