Dust, mud and fire at Hemlock poker run

Hot weather didn't spoil the fun at annual event says Fire Chief

Summer arrived with a vengeance for the SWATT Hemlock Valley ATV Poker Run, held Aug 2 through the 6.

Temperatures well past 30C turned the camping areas and the trials course into dust bowls.

The Hemlock Valley Fire Department members assisted the SWATT members by wetting down the trails course area on Friday while the group constructed the course, and again on Saturday morning just prior to the event to keep the dust down and to fill the water pit which was part of the course.

The Hemlock Fire Department also assisted by pouring a quantity of water into the mud pit for the event later in the day, much of which showed up back at the fire hall in the shape of mud caked onto the machines and the riders.

At times it was hard to tell where a machine ended and the rider began.

Participants were showing up with mud in their boots, shoes, pockets, underwear, helmets and anywhere mud could find a place to stick but they all showed up with big smiles on their faces.

At the end of the Mud Pit Event they had what they call the $100 dash where the club places a $100 bill at the end of the mud pit. In this event, anyone who wants to participate can enter the foot race through the mud pit and the first one to grab the cash wins it.

The participants had mud where it really did not belong when they showed up to the ATV WASH and it took them a long time to get reasonably clean. Some were wearing white socks which I don’t think will ever be truly white again.

Throughout the day the SWATT volunteers were coming to the Fire Hall to get water to wet down the camping area to keep the dust down as more and more participants arrived.

Saturday evening the ATV riders had a huge pot luck appy “dinner” in the camping area and many of the locals attended the pot luck and later assembled at the end of Mt. Downing Road for a campfire social.

Sunday was the day for the Poker Run.

I still have not got a count on the number of machines that participated but it was quite a few.

Shortly after the start of the event there was a radio report of a forest fire somewhere on one of the trails and several of the Hemlock Valley Fire Department members and SWATT members loaded up a couple of ATVs with tools and back packs with water and headed out to try to suppress or at least contain the fire.

Communications were very difficult due to the terrain and it was finally reported that an ATV had caught fire and the fire had spread into the brush but due to quick action by those travelling with the affected ATV, the Hemlock Fire Fighters, SWATT members and a Forestry Rapid Attack Team that dropped in from a helicopter the fire was contained to approximately a 25 foot radius around the machine, which is a total loss.

Kent/Harrison Search and Rescue was providing communications for the event and did a great job coordinating all the radio chatter throughout the incident and the rest of the day.

Without the quick actions of those around the incident this fire could have turned into a major forest fire as the Fire Hazard Rating in the area had jumped from Moderate to Extreme with the hot weather that moved in.

The day ended on a much quieter note and a large crowd assembled in the camping area in the evening for the awards presentation.

• Marty McKinney is the Fire Chief for the Hemlock Valley Fire Department

Just Posted

Blues group Angel Forrest Trio at Bozzini’s in Chilliwack

Award-winning band from Quebec performs Nov. 28

District of Kent to implement snow fence pilot project

$8,000 project to help prevent hazardous, drifting snow, and more from Kent council

PHOTOS: Fraser Valley Eagle Festival

Mission photographer Bob Friesen shares some of his images with the Record

PHOTOS: Harrison warms up to Christmas

The Lions Club hosts holiday event for community

11 years sought for Burnaby man who killed girlfriend with hammer, burned her body

Manslaughter sentencing hearing starts Monday in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack for Ryan Armstrong

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

The latest advent calendar trend: Holiday cannabis

A Canadian company is giving people from coast to coast a new way to celebrate the Christmas countdown.

B.C. woman allegedly threatens to rip out intestines of American man

A Kamloops-area woman is accused of harassing and threatening to disembowel an American man

Most Read