How will the firefighters get past the gate?

ALSO: Update on Royalite refinery

YOU ASKED:About three weeks ago, someone purchased the property at the end of Klahanie Drive in Barnhartvale. . . . There is a huge fence and a locked gate. . . . Can you find out how the firemen could get in there if there was a grassfire? (Editor's note: Reader's question has been edited for space).

- Anonymous

OUR ANSWER:It's understandable you would be nervous about the possibility of a grassfire. That's a large, undeveloped landscape with plenty of natural fuel for a fire.

Having said that, there is little worry about fire crews not being able to access the area.

Kamloops Fire Rescue's chief prevention officer, Dean Olstad, says the fire department works with private landowners throughout the city to ensure crews have access during emergencies.

In some cases, it means installing a lockbox that holds a key to a gate. In others, it means installing a daisy chain system of linked padlocks so each party can unlock the gate without sharing the same key.

"Most property owners see the value in (co-operating)," said Ostad.

While there is no requirement that a landowner give access to emergency crews, Olstad says most comply ahead of time because the alternative could mean a heavily damaged gate.

"In the end, if we need to get through, we do have cutting tools and we'll just fire up a powered saw and cut the locking mechanism," he said.

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UPDATE ON ROYALITE REFINERY

Last week, we ran a question from Daily News reader Trevor Anderson, who was curious to know about the former Royalite refinery (a.k.a. Gulf Oil refinery) that operated for 30 years beside Kamloops Airport.

Anderson wanted to know if any old photos exist.

While none could be found in the municipal archives, Don Powell sent us a photograph of what the refinery looked like in 1983 before Gulf Oil closed it that year.

It's a neat shot and we'd like to thank Powell for sharing it.

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