Little progress made in preventing forest fires near homes: report


VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Not a lot of progress has been made when it comes to wildfire protection of homes built near BC forests, according to a new report.

The Forest Practices Board says the province has committed millions but the scale of the problem is so big and the costs of treatment so high, it’s just a drop in the bucket.

Board Chairman Tim Ryan is urging anyone who lives near a forest to take personal responsibility.

“Reduce the ladder fuels that are on your trees, reduce some of those trees that are next to your house, remove your firewood pile that’s backed up next to your house, if you can afford going with a metal roof or an asphalt roof.”

He says others need to step up as well.

“Leveraging resources and funding of other groups because there’s a lot of parties that have an interest in this, besides private landowners and the Crown there are also tourism operators, the tourism industry, the forest industry, insurance companies.”

Here in the Lower Mainland, Ryan says there are some high risk areas.

“All along the North Shore mountains, all the way up the valley, up the north side of the Fraser River and then up past Sumas into Chilliwack country we see the mountains again.”

He says there’s approximately 685,000 hectares that are considered high risk and roughly ten per cent have been dealt with. Another 970,000 hectares are at moderate risk. Ryan says the average cost of treatment is $10,000 per hectare.

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