Calls for a national strategy to fight forest fires

Calls for a national strategy to fight forest fires

26 May 2011

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Canada — A well-respected forestry expert is urging Ottawa to pump more cash into the Canadian Wildland Fire Strategy.

Brian Stocks, who worked with the Canadian Forest Service for almost 40 years and now runs his own fire investigation company, says a plan to battle wildfires was developed back in 2005.

He says those plans were developed following a series of wildfires that devastated Kelowna, B.C. back in 2003.

Stocks admits the strategy might not have saved Slave Lake, Alberta from a fast-moving blaze earlier this month, but it could help other communities in the future.

Federal and provincial officials are being urged to get together and find the roughly $230-million needed to make the national strategy to manage forest fires a reality.

Estimates are that wildfires scorch more than two-million hectares of land across the country each year, with governments spending anywhere from $400-million to $1-billion annually fighting them.

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