The Mule: Lake Country's fire-fighting

Lake Country’s Mule pulling it’s weight

Emergency ATV performing rescues and hauling crews in to fight fire so far this year

It’s not often you invest $20,000 on a mule.

But the District of Lake Country’s mule isn’t just any old labouring beast.

Built by Kawasaki, Lake Country’s mule is a fire-fighting, troop-carrying, water-packing, trailer-pulling all terrain emergency vehicle that is being put to good use by the Lake Country Fire Department, one of the only departments in the Okanagan to own its own emergency ATV.

So far this year the mule has helped transport fire-fighters into remote areas to battle grass fires and helped to transport two injured ATV riders from hard to access areas of Lake Country.

This mule is earning its money.

“Some years we get more use than others but this year we’ve used it for bush fires early in the season where there was some difficult access,” said Lake Country fire chief Steve Windsor. “You can transport crews to get them closer to the fire versus the guys having to walk in and carry water.”

The mule carries 60 gallons of water on it, can seat four people and pulls a trailer equipped with a basket stretcher. It was purchased about five years ago after Lake Country fire crews had some trouble accessing a camp fire that had gotten out of control behind some gravel pits off Glenmore Road.

Lake Country mayor James Baker suggested maybe there was a piece of equipment that could help in Lake Coutnry’s remote areas.

Enter the mule.

Windsor says there are plenty of areas in Lake Country that are hard to access with fire engines and command vehicles, area’s perfect for the mule.

“I think there is lots of potential for areas where we would need the ATV,” said Windsor. “There are so many trails up on Spion Kop Mountain where we can utilize it. There is lots of range land on the east side of Lake Country. There is lots of areas where we can’t get our four-wheel drive vehicles into that we can get this in.”

Lake Country fire-fighters hold training on driving and operating the mule as part of their training excercises, learning to operate the water pump as well as to safely navigate tough terrain.

Just Posted

West Kelowna to hire eight more firefighters

The city looks to solve what they are calling a critical shortage of firefighters

Kelowna RCMP look to reunite stamp collection with owner

The stamp collection was handed to RCMP in Oct.

Kelowna RCMP search for speed-slowing cut out

The cut out of Const. Warren Ning has been allegedly taken from A.S. Matheson Elementary School

Battling winter blues, depression and SAD after the holidays

Kick the blues on ‘Blue Monday’ that is supposedly the most depressing day of the year

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

Man charged in 7-Eleven fire in Shuswap granted bail

Accused facing arson charges released with 23 conditions including a 7 p.m. curfew

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Most Read