On June 30th a devastating wildfire demolished the town of Lytton, forcing approximately 1,000 people to flee their homes. While these events are tragic and our thoughts go out to everyone impacted by these wildfires, they are also not uncommon, and like the last significant fire season in 2017 and 2018, BCTA and its members are here again to help.
BCTA member Nortrans Freight Management Ltd. has partnered with Nestlé and Trucks For Change to support the Lytton community and surrounding areas. On July 5th Nortrans delivered bottled water to various evacuation centres and is on standby to deliver more as needed. As donation efforts are ramping up around the province, additional delivery and storage services are promptly needed to get supplies to evacuees as well as store them.
How You Can Help
If you are looking for ways to help those affected by the wildfires in BC’s interior, please contact BCTA Vice President Cory Paterson at CoryP@BCTrucking.com. In your email, please outline which services your organization is able to donate, such as transportation services (i.e. reefer van, dry van) and/or warehouse availability for relief supplies (including location of warehouse).
BCTA is also coordinating efforts with Canadian Red Cross to seek out storage and transportation donations with the following requirements:
Secure storage between Pitt Meadows and Chilliwack for two 53-foot containers, with regular access needed.
Transportation from a carrier that makes regular LTL trips to Whitehorse, Yukon from northern BC cities (i.e. Prince George or Fort Nelson).
If you have been impacted, please let us know. BCTA would also be interested in hearing how you have been impacted by the fires, including related highway closures and/or evacuations. Please contact Cory Paterson as BCTA is gathering this information so that we can have a better understanding of how the emergency is affecting our members.
For those assisting with transportation related to wildfire relief who have concerns about Hours of Service requirements, BCTA has confirmed with Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE) that the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations (MVAR) allow for an exemption for drivers in this case. At the beginning of Part 3 – Hours of Service, MVAR 37.11(d) states:
This Part does not apply to a driver who is driving a commercial motor vehicle transporting passengers or goods for the purpose of providing relief in the case of an earthquake, flood, fire, famine, drought, epidemic, pestilence or other disaster.
CVSE still expects that there is a responsibility under MVAR 37.12 for both carriers and drivers assisting in this emergency to ensure that the drivers do not operate while impaired by fatigue to a point that it is unsafe for them to operate their vehicles.
If a commercial motor vehicle’s first trip of the day is to provide relief from earthquake, flood, fire, famine, drought, epidemic, pestilence or other disaster by transporting passengers or goods, the inspection required by subsection (2) shall be carried out before the commercial motor vehicle’s first trip that is not for that purpose.
Thank you for your help, and please let us know how we can support you during this time.
*Image courtesy of Nortrans Freight Management Ltd