Letter to the editor: Wildfire management in B.C. could be done better writes a former Ranger-in-charge

It is patently obvious that B.C. is in a crisis situation relative to wildfire control

It is patently obvious that B.C. is in a crisis situation relative to wildfire control in the province as evidenced during the 2017 and current summer periods. While this condition is now often blamed on global warming, one should reflect that past wildfire seasons such as 1958 and 1967 were also of severe intensity. Correspondingly resources during these earlier periods were minuscule compared to those now available therefore one should reflect as to why this untenable condition continues. In this connection I would offer the following:

1. Establish a holistic approach to provincial forest administration by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations rather than the current fragmented organization.

2. Firmly entrench the 10 a.m. control concept which calls for control of wildfires by 10 a.m. the next morning following detection. Too many fires are being classified as monitored or modified response resulting in substantial loss of forest values and smoke development (i.e. the Snowy Mountain fire near Keremeos).

3. Develop and maintain liaison with the forest industry community and other suitable agencies to encourage early attack on wildfire incidents where opportune. Indeed, if the resources within the province are properly organized external assistance will be eliminated, or at least substantially reduced, with cost associated benefits.

3. Increase elimination of hazardous fuels on appropriate sites by broadcast burning during the fall period when weather conditions offer better control. Some smoke during this period is preferable to the current summer situation.

While the current direct cost of wildfire suppression is substantial, it pales in comparison to the massive loss of forest values and associated resources. Also, and possibly tragically, the atmospheric conditions being created under current wildfire control appear to be detrimental to the health of our citizenry and perhaps even fatal.

-George Benwell, Ranger-in-charge Lardeau 1963-1971 and Revelstoke 1972-1979

Just Posted

Surrey developer says second Central City office tower doesn’t need to be taller

Application for second 25-storey tower at mall sent back to staff by Surrey council for being ‘way too low’

Some voters having trouble accessing polling stations: campaign manager

Schools in both Langley and Surrey having issues

Dog rescued from South Surrey house fire

Firefighters dispatched to 19400-block of 0 Avenue

Rec centre staff honoured for their help to revive teen who collapsed in weight room

BC Emergency Health Services presented Vital Link awards to four City of Surrey employees on Sunday

Body found after fire at Surrey gas station

Fire crews called to the 8700-block of Harvie Road, in Port Kells

Police watchdog seeking ‘key witness’ in Taser incident along Vancouver seawall

Independent Investigations Office of B.C. looking for woman who was sitting nearby with dog

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

VIDEO: Depth and scoring lacking for Vancouver Giants this season: Coach

G-Men defeated on home ice Sunday by Victoria – next up Everett on Friday

Most Read