This is the old Geraldton Fire Management Headquarters building located on Kenogamisis Lake just outside of Geraldton, ON. It closed it's doors in 2004 and operations were shifted to the new base located at the Geraldton airport. The property houses about 12 building which included housing for staff, admin offices, air attack offices, maintenance shop, crew leader offices, and various other utility buildings. Located on a small spit of land stretching out into the lake this was an amazing place to work, I know because I spent 2 summers fighting forest fires out of this base. I was also one of the people responisble for emptying everything that was left behind during the big move to the new building. Nothing remains in the structures that were left behind and the place is buttoned up tight. It was a particularly nice trip down memory lane while checking this place out again. I recall vividly working in the retrieval building fixing water pumps, packing fire hose, sharpening axes and getting all our gear ready to go back out to the next fire. I can also remember watching a buddy of mine who was on his days off and hanging out at one of the houses zipping around on a gas powered stand up scooter laughing at all of us who were stuck working. As I said before this was an amazing place to work, even on a hot day there was a breeze coming in off the lake to blow the bugs away and keep us cool combined with ample hiding spots for those down days. The best memories that this place holds are when the peaceful calm was shattered by the dispatch siren and a fire crew would spring into action and head for the helicopter which also brought all work and progress to a screeching halt as everyone went to watch the chopper take off. The dock behind the air service building is the only place I ever saw my old boss get mad, we had a 20 person crew from B.C. in to lend us a hand and they decided since they weren't going anywhere that day they would gear down and go for a swim. Not a good idea, I swear one of those guys ran across the water to get out before a tirade was unleashed on him.
While packing this place up we came across some really cool old pictures and I really wish I had held onto them, now, i'm sure they are in the dump. One of them was of a guy (who actually helped me get my job there) standing beside a box full of button up shirts holding one up for the camera, at the time they were the new style business shirts ordered in for all the staff. At the time I saw the photo that style shirt had been replaced twice over and since then a newer style has been adopted. I really wish I had that picture.
While I was working at the new base I recall people having to go out and board the windows back up because kids had been going in there and partying so I can imagine the point hose, where the parties were, is probably in rough shape. As I said the place was buttoned up tight and its sad to say but I can see this whole place getting hit with a bulldozer sooner or later. The government is trying to sell the land but it is contaminated from the underground fuel tanks and all the buildings are full of asbestos which is the reason we had to move to the airport as the cost of cleaning and rebuilding was astronomical compared to just building a new base. This is one of the last few aesthetically pleasing bases left in the West Fire Region, as now all but the Red Lake Base are located at airports with the breeze off the lake replaced by the hot breeze off the tarmac. It was sad to see the doors locked up on this base, but I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to work there while it lasted.
Update: Sadly the old base has been demolished. It was only a matter of time until it happened as the soil was polluted from the old underground fuel tanks and all of the buildings were full of asbestos. All that remains, to my knowledge, are a couple of the houses which are on the chopping block as well.