I have a question that’s puzzling me. I wonder if anyone can help me understand what’s going on here?
We seem to have a wild fire situation in two areas of the southern Interior here, one two years ago in Monte Creek and the other one just now in the Shuswap. And they are both treated the same way that ends up in disaster.
Watching video reports from the Monte Creek area fire of 2021, we find that residents were discouraged to do anything to fight them, and no help was forthcoming either while the fires were small and manageable or bigger later. The fires were deliberately allowed to become large and destructive beyond local attack, but no help from the Provincial authorities came either.
Again, like in the Shuswap this year, in the end it was individual homeowners and locals in general who were left to do most of the fire fighting against huge odds.
What’s wrong with this picture? And lest we think it’s only here in the southern part of BC, I recall a friend mentioning in passing that the fires in central BC a few years ago were also left to become huge and almost impossible to fight. In fact an old college friend of mine and his sons fought and saved their sawmill operation, when there was no one else to help!
So what’s the name of the game here? We might conclude that our government agencies are simply too incompetent, and never learn from one fire season to the next.
Or we might wonder if there isn’t some deeper political agenda at play here! So what could it be? Well what comes to mind is how the media have been blaring about climate change causing all these huge forest fires! And so we will just all have to buy electric cars, move to the 15 minute cities and bike or walk. Great plan, by the way if you are 30, less so if 88.
And above all stay away from the forests, or anywhere outside of the metropolises with their (unaffordable) 50 story glass houses, that are oh, so uneconomical, and un-green to heat and cool!
But maybe we’ll be allowed to put up a tent under Burrard or Granville bridge? So great!
Now that would be green, surely! But I digress! Or maybe not?
I think a massive citizen reaction is in order. Fighting wild fires needs to immediately be transferred to the community level. The funds that are now ineffectively used by provincial departments need to be distributed to local community fire fighters. Whether that is actually individual communities, or groups of communities is to be debated and decided — and not by Victoria, Ottawa, or perhaps even not by our Regional Districts – but locally.
Given the wildfire disaster of the last few years the need for community control should be considered an obvious conclusion that needs no further debate!
Here’s the obvious goal: Let’s get the fires when they’re small, and easy to fight; not when they’ve become a raging inferno! That’s most easily done by people who can see them from their back porch!