bc-100511-eastgate-fire-truck

The Eastgate Fire Department believes their truck was stolen. ((Eastgate Fire Department))

A tiny town in the in the southern Interior of B.C. is heading into a dry summer without its only fire truck after it was apparently stolen over the weekend.

Gordon Blad, the president of the East Gate Fire Protection Society told CBC News that over the weekend, the community's fire truck vanished from the local firehall, which is located about 50 kilometres south of Princeton in the province's Similkameen region.

"We found glass at the scene and the RCMP did attend. We just think they broke the no-draft window and hot-wired it. We're not sure whether it was someone just wanting transportation to get out of this area or they're looking to strip it for the equipment,"  he said.

Blad said they've done a thorough search of the community and it looks like the thief and the truck have left town.

They're asking the public to keep an eye out for the distinctive truck: a white 1997 Ford F-350, with East Gate Fire Department on the front doors, emergency lights on top, and a fire hose, water tank and pumps on the back. 

The truck is the only one the community has that can negotiate steep mountain roads in the region. The community had paid for it with fundraising, donations, volunteer work and grants from the B.C. Lottery Corporation.

Provincial officials have warned that the snowpack levels in the region are well below normal, raising concerns of wide-spread forest fires this upcoming summer.