Three logs bearing signatures from hundreds of emergency personnel who assisted during the wildfires in the Cariboo-Chilcotin will be on permanent display in Williams Lake, preferably at the museum or the tourism discovery centre.
That’s the hope, said Bryan Reid Sr., founder of Pioneer Log Homes of B.C. who donated the logs and came up with the idea for the project.
Speaking from the North Island Crusiers Car Show N’ Shine in Campbell River on Saturday where he is showcasing the company’s log car the Cedar Rocket, Reid told the Tribune during the Olympics in 2010, Pioneer brought a large cedar log to Vancouver for people to sign and thought the wildfires were a good reason to do the same.
“We did it again this summer because so many people came from everywhere to Williams Lake to help fight the fires,” Reid said. “This is going to be a bench mark in Williams Lake’s history so to me it was important to record some of this. That way some of these people can come back and visit and see where they signed.”
The logs went to the RCMP Interface Fire Command Post in Williams Lake, the 150 Mile House Volunteer Fire Department and the temporary military base in Williams Lake so emergency personnel could sign them, Reid said.
“Officers and firefighters actually cut off patches from their uniforms to put on the logs so their departments would be represented. There are patches from the RCMP, Conservation Officer Service, Vancouver City Police, Delta City Police, Military Police, the Coast Guard, you name it.”
Right now the logs are at the Pioneer Log Homes office in Williams Lake where they will stay until they can be permanently installed somewhere for display.
“To me there are totem poles,” Reid said. “They tell a story forever of who was here and helped in a time of emergency.”
Reid is also planning to create a carving of the wildfire that will feature a scene with a fire, animals and a fire engine that says 150 Mile House.
“The carving will go with the logs on permanent display,” he added.
During the wildfires, Reid purchased two used fire trucks for the 150 Mile Volunteer Fire Dept. because he was grateful for the work the department was doing.
Pioneer’s 150 Mile House compound lost four completed log homes and three family trees when a wildfire ripped through on the evening of July 7.