BC Wildfire Service head says challenges with Shuswap residents will inform agency’s policies

By Tim Petruk
August 30, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The head of the BC Wildfire Service says the agency is willing to work alongside community members like those in the North Shuswap as destructive blazes become a more common occurrence. Cliff Chapman, director of operations for the BCWS, said he knows the agency has to be nimble given the increasing frequency of interface fires. The BCWS took a lot of heat earlier this month from residents of the North Shuswap, who claimed they were not consulted in the firefighting process and not allowed to help protect their homes. That has since changed. Over the weekend, the BCWS trained a number of North Shuswap residents, and they are now working the fire line — paid employees alongside regular BCWS crew members. “Climate-related emergency hazards are on the rise in B.C., and with it we need to be willing to adjust, willing to evolve and willing to learn from the things that we’re experiencing right now,” Chapman said.

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