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Wednesday, May 22, 2019
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MLA Dan Davies – Weekly Column – B.C. not out of the woods yet this wildfire season


Despite the campfire ban being lifted in our region, we are still not out of the woods yet when it comes to wildfire prevention.

The 2018 wildfire season has already been declared the second worst on record with 945 square kilometres of forestland destroyed so far.

Perhaps the most distressing statistic is that 400 of the 2,000 wildfires started this year were human-caused. This means 20 percent of all the damage done to the province’s forests could have been prevented. In other words, by taking greater personal responsibility, we can do a great deal to help those people on the frontlines by being just a little more careful.

We belong to the Prince George Fire Centre, which is the largest forest region in the province. Staff at the centre deserve our gratitude for protecting people and their property and keeping us well informed. This is no easy job considering firefighting resources are currently spread thin throughout the province.

Officials with the Northern Rockies and Peace River Regional Districts also deserve our thanks for helping to coordinate firefighting efforts. This includes the work being done by the Fort St. John and Charlie Lake Firefighters, some of whom have gone to other parts of the province to help out other communities hard hit by wildfires.

First responders such as RCMP, ambulance and search and rescue volunteers also deserve our heartfelt thanks. And thank you to our Canadian Armed Forces members assisting.

Local residents should also be aware that advanced sprinkler technology, supplied by Safeguard Industries, is being tested in parts of the province to determine the effectiveness of this new firefighting method. We will continue to watch safeguard as they bring this mass water technology to the front lines.

While some are calling record wildfires the ‘new normal’, we should as a province explore ways to better coordinate efforts between all levels of government, the BC Wildfire Centre and all that play a role in fighting to protect our forests and property.

Prevention is above all our best means to fight the devastation caused by wildfires.

Dan Davies

Member of the Legislative Assembly

Peace River North

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