Wildfire protection plans should be mandatory to build in B.C.’s fire-hazard zones, experts say

By Wendy Stueck
The Globe and Mail
September 5, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

…In 2005, spurred by the catastrophic damage in Kelowna, Ottawa released its Canadian Wildland Fire Strategy, which set out steps to protect communities and better manage forests made vulnerable to fire by pests or disease.  In B.C., successive provincial governments have commissioned reports assessing wildfire risk, resulting in changes such as wildfire protection plans meant to prevent the type of damage seen in 2003, when the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire destroyed 239 homes. Now there are questions about how well those plans worked, how they can be improved and what else can be done to reduce the likelihood of homes being destroyed and people being displaced, sometimes for years.  …The province funds fuel treatment but experts say those projects fall short of what’s required. In a June report, the B.C. Forest Practices Board said little more than 1 per cent of B.C.’s WUIs had been treated since 2018.

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