We need more people fighting wildfires

Letter by Larry Russell, retired forester
Kamloops This Week
October 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…I am a 79-year-old retired forest service employee. My long suit was fire suppression. I have been writing letters to the premier, starting with Gordon Campbell in 2003, all to no avail, but this year’s response took the cake. I received a two-page glowing report from a PR person that made this year’s fire control efforts appear fantastic. Here is a sentence right out of her letter: “Confronted by an average of 2,000 wildfires each year, highly trained provincial fire crews were successful in containing 94 per cent of all wildfires in BC. by 10 a.m. the following day.” Was she watching the same evening news as me? Our forest firefighting capabilities are grossly understaffed, undertrained and underfunded. …We also need another Filmon Report, but this time focused on fire suppression and made up of forest industry personnel and people with fire experience.

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