It is quite clear that the government needs to make changes and make them quickly.
After hearing the information during last weeks wildfire information session I am a little more than concerned about the potential fire hazard that surrounds the community.
The forest is filled with dead, very dry beetle killed pine trees.
Burns Lake and the surrounding community is like a sitting duck … just ripe for the taking as far as a wildfire is concerned.
There are so many people spread out across great distances in the Lakes District that it is very concerning to hear that there is not any prediction models that determine an accurate rate of spread for wildfires burning in red or grey pine.
Generally a fire takes a while to catch hold of a green moisture filled tree ….. you only have to try and light a campfire with a green wood to determine this.
Also over $200 million of taxpayers money was spent last year fighting fires.
Some of this money could be saved if the dead pine that is working so well to fuel the fires is removed from B.C.’s forests.
The dead pine should be logged now. This is beneficial in two ways ….. firstly the quicker the dead pine is logged the more value it has.
Secondly, removing all the dead wood from the forests would diminish the wildfire hazard.
We were relatively lucky last year in that there were no fatalities in the Nadina zone.
Although most of the fires were caused by lightning there was also a large number of fires caused by abandoned campfires.
What are these people thinking?
Who just gets up and walks away from a camp fire in the middle of a hot, extremely dry forest.
It is a shame these people couldn’t be found and brought to task for the devastation they caused.
Penalties for starting a wildfire are hefty and could include up to three years in jail and fines of up to $1 million.
The penalty for defying a campfire ban is $345 …. you would think all of this should certainly prevent campers from walking away from a camp fire.
Weather predictions say that we could be heading for another big fire season this year. Let’s hope not.
The experts at the information session also warned that Burns Lake could very well be another Slave Lake.
Approximately 10,000 residents were left homeless after a wildfire tore through the Northern Alberta town recently. Wind whipped flames quickly made light work of homes, and businesses.
A horrific situation.
Last year the fires were very close to town … close enough that the air was thick with smoke and ash rained down from the sky.
With the fires too big to put out, we seemed to be at the mercy of the winds.
The government certainly needs to step up, take the initiative and make this a priority before more communities go up in smoke.
Maybe government decision makers have learnt their lesson from the situation in Slave Lake.
Let’s hope some changes are made …. before it is too late.
We may not be so lucky this time.