The Wildfire Smoke Threat to Tree Planters

By Aldyn Chwelos, Kristen de Jager and Paul Voll
The Tyee
September 18, 2023
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

A thick grey haze brewed above Alberta’s Slave Lake region. Seth Forward thrust his shovel into the earth to carve a home for green-needled seedlings. “It was pretty much a summer of drowning smoke,” says Forward. …This summer’s worst recorded fire season in Alberta, BC and across Canada means many more tree planters have been exposed to harmful pollutants contained within smoke. But an investigation by the Tyee reveals regulations in place for outdoor workers during Canada’s wildfire seasons haven’t done enough to protect those like Forward. Silviculture safety and wildfire experts are calling on the provinces and territories to create work safety regulations specific to wildfire smoke that include monitoring air quality and introducing clear and enforceable measures to reduce exposure. WorkSafeBC, the safety regulator in the province, says it has no plans to introduce specific wildfire smoke protections.

Read More