2021 was a devastating year for wildfires in BC, with many communities across the province severely impacted by a long, dry and hot season. While the risk of wildfires is currently low, as temperatures rise so does the risk of wildfires. Trans Mountain actively monitors potential impacts to the pipeline system during wildfire season and collaborates with local response agencies in our preparedness efforts.

Throughout the year, we facilitate emergency response training exercises and work closely with our contractors and local community members to prepare for wildfire season. We’ve also provided training opportunities for our construction crews in higher wildfire risk areas, including hosting S-100 Wildfire Fighting Training with Surerus Murphy Joint Venture and Whispering Pines/Clinton Indian Band.

In the event of a wildfire near one of our facilities, three levels of response are initiated depending on the conditions. The first level of response is monitoring operations – work not critical to operations is shut down, and if necessary, sections of the pipeline system or facilities may be isolated.

Second are defensive operations. Trans Mountain staff, third-party contractors and provincial and state forestry resources under the supervision of Trans Mountain personnel focus on protecting pumps, valves and other structures. Some examples of defensive operations are:

  • Perimeter sprinklers
  • Fire gel or foam
  • Burying assets with sand or dirt
  • Requesting wildfire fighting agencies to lay down fire retardant around facilities if air resources are available
Perimeter sprinklers at Kamloops Terminal protecting our facilities during the 2021 BC Wildfires

When wildfires occur near Trans Mountain facilities, offensive operations may be deployed to extinguish the wildfire or tactics will be taken to direct the fire away from a critical asset.

During wildfire season, Trans Mountain is in constant communication with local, state and provincial agencies, including Indigenous communities. Any wildfire activity is reported to the appropriate emergency response agencies and then communicated to the Trans Mountain Control Centre. Additionally, if a wildfire is reported near Trans Mountain facilities, a government wildfire centre or emergency operations centre will contact us.