Mayor Walt Cobb attended the B.C. Mayor’s Caucus in April 1, 2019 in Prince George and will head to the Council of Forest Industries in Vancouver April 3 to 5. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Cobb shares wildfire recovery, planning at BC Mayors Caucus

Next Cobb will attend the COFI Convention in Vancouver, April 3 to 5

Mayor Walt Cobb spent Monday attending the BC Mayors’ Caucus in Prince George where he participated in a panel discussion about wildfire recovery.

“We had a good session on recovery and fires, and there were other sessions about a whole range of issues,” Cobb said, noting there were about 30 mayors from all over. “It was a good cross section. Some from the Lower Mainland, some from the North.”

When it was his turn to talk on the panel, he said he discussed what Williams Lake went through during the 2017 fires.

“They wanted to know how well we were prepared, what were some of the pitfalls, and what we could have done better and at the end of the day are we prepared should it happen again.”

So what did he share?

“I said we were way more prepared than we were to start with, but I think we did an exceptional job under the circumstances. The fact that we had a plan in place, I think saved the day. We did have an extensive plan in place, we just never anticipated we would have to evacuate the whole city at once.”

The fire crew, city staff and the emergency management committee works well, he added.

Read more: Williams Lake Mayor reflects on ups and downs of the 2017 wildfires

“We know what to look for, what not to look for and I think we are even more prepared and things should go smoother if we are faced with wildfires again.”

Cobb returned home Monday before the mayors caucus ended because he leaves again on Wednesday to attend the Council of Forest Industries convention in Vancouver, April 3 to 5.

“There we will be talking about industry and the future and there will be lots of guest speakers,” Cobb said.

Each year the COFI Convention attracts industry CEOs and executives from continental North America and overseas companies, senior representatives from customers, suppliers, financial institutions, law firms, as well as local, provincial, federal government and First Nations leaders.

One of the speakers Cobb is really looking forward to hearing David McNaughton, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States who will give a keynote address at the Thursday luncheon.

“He will discuss the economy,” Cobb said.

Premier John Horgan will give the keynote address at the Friday luncheon.

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