B.C. needs fire. Meet the man bringing it back

By Marc Fawcett-Atkinson
The National Observer
January 5, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Joe Gilchrist

When Skeetchestn fire keeper Joe Gilchrist was young… he spent hours in front of the flickering flames, learning how they grew and moved as the fire slowly turned logs to ash. …Decades later, Gilchrist is on a mission to make the regenerative burning practices his grandfather taught him commonplace. At stake is an important practice for culture, food security and the future of the province’s forests. Forest fires have slammed B.C. in recent years, burning on average 348,000 hectares each year. …The problem is set to get worse as the climate crisis deepens, with experts predicting Western Canada will see up to 50 per cent more days with the dry, windy conditions that drive wildfires. …”In the (B.C.) Interior, it’s a fire-inclusive landscape,” Gilchrist explained. “It needs fire … and if fire isn’t put there, you start seeing the catastrophic fires like you’re seeing now.” 

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