Wildfire fighter in ICU after 'fire accident' battling one of B.C.'s largest blazes
A firefighter on the frontlines of battling one of the largest wildfires in B.C. has suffered serious burns and injuries.
An online fundraising campaign has been launched for Dylan Bullock, who’s had 10 years of experience as a wildlfire fighter, according to the page.
“Dylan suffered burns to his chest, neck, arm and face during a fire accident,” the GoFundMe page said. “Dylan’s journey to recovery will be a long one and will rely on a lot of support from all aspects of his day to day life.”
The GoFundMe said he is in the intensive care unit of a Vancouver hospital and will eventually be moved to the burn unit for rehabilitation.
The Sparks Lake fire has scorched more than 40,260 hectares of land near Kamloops, and is still classified as out of control 15 days after it was first discovered.
The president of the BC General Employees’ Union, which represents wildland fighters, said Bullock was doing a control burn when the incident happened.
“Our thoughts are with our member and we are all wishing him a speedy and full recovery. We’re very concerned whenever a member from BCGEU is injured on the job,” president Stephanie Smith told CTV News.
Smith said the union is waiting for an investigative report to be complete to understand the circumstances of the incident and if anything could have been prevented.
“It is an inherently risky job,” she said. “But we should never accept that as part of the job and so, that’s why our union is so actively involved in making sure members know what their rights are around safe work, ensuring the training is adequate.
The BC Wildfire Service said the incident happened on Wednesday, July 7, and that it is conducting the investigation along with WorkSafe BC.
“This incident is an overall reminder of the risks associated with fighting wildfires. Firefighters put themselves in potentially dangerous situations to fight wildland fires, many of which are caused by humans and completely preventable,” fire information officer Briana Hill wrote in an email to CTV News.
The fire is under investigation and it is suspected to be human caused.
The campaign has already surpassed its fundraising goal of $15,000.
The organizer told CTV News they are asking people to consider donating to Lytton relief instead, since Bullock was also previously stationed there and many wildland fighters lost their homes and possessions when a fire tore through the village.
“Those of us who know Dylan know he is a stubborn beaut, who will exceed our expectations and pull through this with flying colours,” the GoFundMe said.