MHC lab manager fights fires

September 13, 2017 - Campbell River, B.C.

An emergency situation calls for extraordinary effort from near and afar.

Fish Health and Food Safety Lab Manager Jonathan Watkins took eight days leave from Marine Harvest to help fight wildfires in northern British Columbia last month.

Jonathan is a volunteer firefighter in Comox and he was one of six crew members who formed a structure protection unit working near Anahim Lake in the Cariboo Chilcotin.

Jonathan says they worked near ground cover fires setting up pumps and sprinkler systems on houses and infrastructure.

“It was difficult because it was unpredictable work, sometimes we would be on standby for hours and other days we would be working constantly. It depended on what direction the fire was heading.”

It was the first time Jonathan has carried out this type of forest fire fighting, and he says he would volunteer again should a similar summer of wildfires occur.

Jonathan Watkins

Jonathan Watkins near the Kleena Kleene fire in B.C., August 2017