New provincial training centre opens in Merritt

MLAs Steve Thomson and Jackie Tegart join Merritt Mayor Susan Roline at the official opening of the new Provincial Wildfire Training Centre.

KAMLOOPS – The men and women that tackle wildfire after wildfire every summer now have a new training ground thanks to the opening of the Provincial Wildfire Training Centre in Merritt today.

The $4.74 million facility will also house the Merritt Fire Zone office and act as the strategic operations base for out-of-province firefighters. At 1,332 square metres there is enough space for 58 staff, storage for equipment and three classrooms.

Construction of the new building began in October 2012 after a 25 year lease was signed with the City of Merritt for the 2.176 hectare site.

“Our branch has a world leading reputation and we ensure we have the resources in the right place at the right time,” B.C. Minister of Forests Steve Thomson says. “Hit it hard and hit it fast. That's what we do and it works.”

The Merritt Fire Zone is the largest zone in the province and one of seven zones that makes up the Kamloops Fire Centre. The Merritt fire office has five full-time staff and 53 seasonal staff.

To contact a reporter for this story, email, call (250)819-3723 or tweet @JennStahn.

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