VICTORIA — Strategy shifts are urgently needed to cut the risk of catastrophic wildfires in B.C. forests that threaten to decimate ecosystems and communities, says the B.C. Forests Practices Board. The board is calling on the provincial government to undertake a “paradigm shift” in how it manages forests, saying wildfire risk mitigation currently focuses on areas near communities, but leaves the wider forest landscape severely vulnerable. The report comes as the largest wildfire in the province’s history, the Donnie Creek wildfire, continues to burn out of control in the remote northeast. “The key is there’s an urgency to this,” board chair Keith Atkinson said. “We’re obviously experiencing, maybe, our most severe year in front of us.” The Donnie Creek fire, about 150 kilometres southeast of Fort Nelson, is an example of a catastrophic wildfire that impacts few people but will cause lasting damage, he said. …Forests Minister Bruce Ralston said in a statement the report was a call to action to prevent wildfires.
Additional coverage in Castanet by Colin Dacre: ‘No short-term fix’: B.C. forestry watchdog urges wildfire mitigation