Hundreds of Canadian Army reservists are spending part of their Christmas holidays in B.C. learning how to build bridges in the event of natural disasters, such as earthquakes or floods.

On Friday about 200 soldiers from five provinces were at Cultus Lake east of Vancouver practicing erecting one bridge as quickly as possible.

It's a post-Christmas tradition for Canadian Army combat engineers, according to Capt. Dan Wowryk, an engineer and reservist from Edmonton

"What we're training for today is to bridge a 40-foot gap.  We're putting this up, probably in about five hours here," said Wowryk.

That skill could one day very useful in B.C. where a massive earthquake is overdue and flooding is common.

In June a late snow melt caused the Fraser River to overflow its banks, flooding fields, washing out roads and leaving homes surrounded by water.

Then in October a 7.7 earthquake struck off the West Coast near Haida Gwaii.