Commonage fire service denied

Any immediate hopes of Vernon providing fire service outside of its boundary have been extinguished.

City council voted Monday not to provide fire protection to lands on Commonage Road, Bailey Road and Highway 97 at this time because of a lack of necessary infrastructure, primarily fire hydrants.

“The Okanagan Landing hall does have a water tender (tanker) but the deployment model would have to allow for time to get it there and refilling it would take time,” said fire chief Keith Green.

Water from the tenders is usually dumped into large bladders from which pumps can draw from.

“In order for this to be truly effective, the bladders have to be steadily filled, usually meaning more than one water tender along with a short enough turnaround time to an established water supply,” said Green.

Vernon will acquire a second water tender in 2012.

There is also a concern that some of the roads in the Commonage could create challenges for the city’s trucks.

“Most of our ladder trucks are made for asphalt roads and we could be damaging the trucks by going off asphalt,” said Leon Gous, chief administrative officer.

The city is asking the North Okanagan Regional District to conduct a study to determine the capital costs of providing the necessary infrastructure required to provide adequate water flows for firefighting.

“If they do their part and sort out the infrastructure, we could provide the service in the future,” said Mayor Wayne Lippert.

“They need to look at hydrants or reservoirs strategically placed so equipment can access it.”


Presently, the 90 property owners on Commonage Road, Bailey Road and Highway 97 do not have fire protection.