Martin Mars da bomb

Elimination of the Martin Mars water bomber in the Alberni Valley is an emotional pinch for the people of Port Alberni.

To the Editor,

Elimination of the Martin Mars water bomber in the Alberni Valley is an emotional pinch for the people of Port Alberni.

A forest service staff bureaucrat telling the owner of Coulson Group of Companies that “it is none of his business why the government would discontinue a forest fire fighting contract” is lacking respect. OK, so these planes lack someone’s opinion of maneuverability.

This is a further example of the shredding relationship between rural BC, and the big city valuation and the Victoria governance model.

In 1967, I was a 19-year-old logger fighting the Taylor River forest fire when both bombers flew right over our heads at 3,500 feet on a hillside above Sproat Lake. The ground shook and the smoke filled the forest as they dumped their water and went off to scoop more water from the lake. They were massive, powerful, impressive and needed.

With my family a few years later, I drove west up Sutton Pass when both mars planes roared overhead for a drop on an inaccessible mountaintop fire above the pass. Another time, along Highway 4, a mars bomber rose up directly in front of me over the trees having just loaded up from Sproat Lake. What a rush.

Ukee Days summer fair in Ucluelet, my home town, always enjoyed a demonstration water drop from the mars. During the ‘Save Clayoquot Sound’ anti logging protest in 1993, it warmed the loggers’ hearts to have the demonstration mars visit on the ‘Support the Loggers’ day.

I live in Port Alberni now and always go out on my deck to watch when a bomber flies low over the town on its way out to a fire or returning to home base. A recent cruise ship visit to Port Alberni was treated to a water drop demonstration beside the ship in the harbour.

This city and the rural BC communities built this province’s wealth. Bureaucrats and politicians must respect and honour that. Give us something we want and show respect for the millions of dollars that we sent to Victoria.

Bruce Hornidge,

Port Alberni

Just Posted

Crooner classics past and present in spotlight, courtesy of Ken Lavigne

Island tenor prepares for upcoming concert tour of Let Me Be Frank!

Port Alberni workers to honour Day of Mourning on April 28

Annual event honours workers who lost their lives on the job

Tseshaht First Nation athlete honoured with provincial sports award

Rain Thomas competes in three different sports

Alberni Valley firefighters pass the boot for Muscular Dystrophy

Annual fundraiser started in 1967 with Port Alberni Fire Department

Cougars spotted in Sproat Lake neighbourhoods

ACRD director warns residents to keep children, pets close

VIDEO: Alberni Valley celebrates Easter weekend

Port Alberni children enjoy Easter egg hunts and spring activities

RCMP looking to retrace steps of woman found dead on Kelowna beach

Caitlin Midori Bradley, a 29-year-old dancer at a Kelowna bar, was originally from Surrey

Busy Tuesday for BC Ferries passengers

First sailings to and from Swartz Bay sold out

New commemorative loonie marking ‘progress’ for LGBTQ2 people to be unveiled today

But advocates say it mistakenly suggests equality has been achieved largely as a result of government actions

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

United Way opens grants to help charities tackle social issues

Charities north of the Malahat can apply for grants $2,000 to $20,000

Two back-to-back earthquakes strike off Vancouver Island

The first earthquake happened at 1:27 p.m., the second at 2:44 p.m.

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Most Read