Construction will start this week on a $1.2-million firefighting centre in Valemount, the provincial government said Monday.
The two-storey structure will replace the Wildfire Management Branch's existing trailer complex on property leased from the Village of Valemount.
The 350-square-metre building will house a fire zone office and initial attack base, featuring an operations centre, staff offices, briefing room, workshop and fire crew facilities.
The centre will be better equipped to accommodate regional firefighting operations and will also support other Wildfire Management Branch priorities such as fuel management. It's expected to
be fully operational by the start of the 2013 fire season.
The Valemount project, which was announced in the 2012-13 budget, is being built by Mierau Contractors Ltd.
"This project will provide economic benefits to the Valemount area and enhance firefighting efforts as well," Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond said. "Local fire crews can look forward to working out of a top-notch building next spring."
The Valemount Fire Zone is currently home to two full-time staff and 11 seasonal staff, including two auxiliary staff and three three-person initial attack crews. When not fighting wildfires, fire crews assist with local fuel management activities.