B.C. provides expertise for Canada-wide wildfire tactics

B.C. provides expertise for Canada-wide wildfire tactics

17 October 2005

published by www.clearwatertimes.com

Canada — A new national wildfire strategy developed with expertise from British Columbia has been adopted by all of Canada’s provinces, Forests and Range Minister Rich Coleman announcedrecently.

“This national strategy is built on B.C.’s leadership,” said Coleman, who is attending the meeting of the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers. “We’re continuing to implement recommendations of the Filmon review, and our efforts are getting noticed acrossCanada.”

The Canadian Wildland Fire Strategy declaration signed Tuesday is aimed at reducing losses of life, property and forest values caused by wildfires. It commits the federal, provincial and territorial governments to pursue $1 billion over 10 years to implement the strategy, which would include activities such as fuel reduction, ecosystem management, public education and research. Funds would also replace aging aircraft and equipment. The national strategy endorses the FireSmart program, which B.C. has been promoting foryears.

“British Columbia has seen first-hand the devastating toll wildfires can take on our families, communities and province, and we’re pleased to have contributed to this strategy,” said Coleman. “By working together with other jurisdictions, we can better prepare and respond to the risks ofwildfire.”

It’s estimated that wildland fires are the most frequent and expensive natural emergency in Canada, costing as much as $1 billion per year. Costs and impacts are projected to rise because of increased use of and pressure on wildlands, and changes in climate andweather.

More information on the strategy is available on the website of the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers atwww.ccfm.org.


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