Martin Mars enters one-month agreement with province of B.C.

Province may use Martin Mars this weekend, said Minister Thomson

The Hawaii Mars sits in the calm Sproat Lake waters where it will be stationed for its month-long provincial firefighting stint this summer.

The province has entered into a one month agreement to use the Martin Mars waterbomber, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson said.

“Today (July 8), I’m pleased to announce that we’re entering into a one-month agreement to use the Martin Mars airtanker,” said Thomson.

The iconic Martin Mars may begin firefighting operations as early as this weekend, Minister Thomson said.

“Given the extraordinary fire situation this year, and recognizing that public safety is paramount, we need to look at every possible tool in our toolbox,” said Minister Thomson.

He did caution that the Mars is limited in what it can do.

“The Mars is not suitable for steep terrain. We will only use it in situations where it is safe to do so,” Minister Thomson said.

“The airtanker will be stationed at Sproat Lake – due to its size the Martin Mars can only land on and scoop up water from about 113 water bodies in B.C. as opposed to the 1,700 water bodies that our amphibious scoopers can access.”

The News is waiting on a response from the MFLNRO regarding usage of the Martin Mars on Dog Mountain.

There are also the mechanical preparations.

“The Martin Mars has not been used to fight forest fires for the past two years, and given it is ‘coming out of retirement’ we need to ensure that it is safe to fly,” Minister Thomson said. Pilot certification must also be up to date, he added.

“We expect we may be in a position to use the airtanker by this weekend.”

A call for comment to CEO Wayne Coulson has not yet been returned. Speaking earlier on July 8, Coulson said that flight preparations would be taking place that day and that the Mars would hopefully be performing test flights by 7 p.m.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

twitter.com/alberninews

Just Posted

Good things are brewing in Port Alberni’s Uptown

Young duo moves forward with plans to open microbrewery

Port Alberni to host World Juniors action

Team Kazakhstan will play exhibition games in Port Alberni

Hometown victory for Alberni Valley Midget Bulldogs

Annual Remembrance Day tournament drew 12 competing teams

Learn about solar panels with Alberni Valley Transition Towns

Monthly meeting will feature a talk from a solar panel expert

Little Qualicum Cheeseworks cheese linked to 5 E. coli cases in B.C.

People are asked to throw out or return ‘Qualicum Spice’ cheese

Calgarians vote ‘no’ to bidding for 2026 Winter Games, in plebiscite

Out of 767,734 eligible voters, 304,774 voted and 171,750 said ”no.”

Wildfire death toll rises in California as search for missing continues

Authorities reported six more fatalities from the Northern California blaze, bringing the total number of dead so far to 48.

B.C. MLAs urge Trudeau to call byelection immediately in Burnaby-South

Four NDP provincial politicians from British Columbia are urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to immediately call a byelection in the federal riding of Burnaby-South.

Provincial housing boss brought home more than $350,000 in 2017-18

BC Housing develops, manages and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options

Prince Charles turns 70 with party, new family photos

Charles is due to have tea on Wednesday with a group of people who are also turning 70 this year

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

Student arrested at Vancouver Island elementary school

Pupils never in danger, incident unrelated to the school

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Most Read