Firefighting foam enters Byrne Creek

Foam used to fight a vehicle fire in South Burnaby Monday ended up in Byrne Creek but appears to have had no ill effect on the fish there, said a Byrne Creek streamkeeper.

Paul Cipywnyk said he received a call from a fellow streamkeeper who noticed the fire north of Kingsway near Balmoral Street. The caller said firefighters were using foam which was going down the storm drain.

Cipywnyk rushed down to Byrne Creek where he saw the foam. He checked twice Monday night and again on Tuesday morning. The foam dissipated over time and, much to his relief, he didn't find any dead fish or any fish in distress.

Last fall a house fire in the Edmonds area also led to firefighting foam flowing into the creek and at least 100 dead fish. At the time, the Burnaby Fire Department said the fish were not likely killed by their foam, which is non-toxic, but chemicals from the cluttered property which mixed into the runoff.

The absence of fish killed in this week's case appears to confirm the fire department's explanation, said Cipywnyk, who also reported the foam to Burnaby city hall as a matter of course.

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