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October 28, 2017 4:07 am

Forest Practices Board Calls for More Wildfire Prevention Work

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 12:48 PM

Prince George, B.C.-   The Forest Practices Board is calling for the Provincial Government to do more preventive work to   reduce the risk of interface fires that threaten homes and private properties.

In a report issued today, the Board says there has been little progress in protecting urban areas from the threat of wildfires.

Building on a similar report issued in 2010, the Board’s followup report says work done in the last five years, “has not addressed the hazard in a meaningful way.”

“In 2010 we said that both provincial and local governments need to support forest fuel reduction efforts and homeowners have to take responsibility and FireSmart their properties,” said board chair Tim Ryan. “Less than 10% of hazardous forest fuels have been treated – at enormous cost to government – and few property owners have taken the steps to protect themselves from wildfire.”

In the wake of the Littrle Bobtail Lake fire, that threatened numerous properties and forced 80 people to evacuate their homes, the Board says it is very concerned that British Columbians are not prepared for what could happen “Government does not have the resources to respond to every wildfire and protect every community that is at risk,” said Ryan. “The solution has to be in prevention and readiness to withstand a wildfire.”

While acknowledging that some excellent work has been done and that the Province has committed millions of dollars to the effort, the Board says it is not enough because the scale of the problem is so large and the costs of treatments so high, the dedicated dollars are just a drop in the bucket.

The report makes five recommendations:

1. Provide sustainable and adequate funding.

2. Treat more area effectively and at a lower cost.

3. Redefine the role of local government.

4. Reduce the hazard in all new interface areas during the development phase.

5. Convince or compel at-risk private landowners to participate in the FireSmart program.


“B.C. has been lucky it hasn’t had any catastrophic urban interface fires since Kelowna in 2003, but that has been luck and nothing more” says Ryan


Harper pulled his $1 billion dollar pine beetle fund after getting elected and that would have helped to get more projects to deal with the bio fuel up and running… this is conservative country so no one could say anything after it was canceled by a conservative government.

Then all wood fiber went bankrupt a few months ago and they were probably the biggest savager of bio fuel in recent years….

With a co-gen plant in Mackenzie, and a pellet plant in Chetwynd coming on line this year that will help with processing more bio-fuels, but it won’t even be enough for the amount that is out there.

I am not sure that there is a surplus on biomass as you suggest.

I encourage people to read Murray Halls paper in the attached link.


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