Les Husband, BC Wildfire Service Prince George Fire Centre manager, who is filling in at the Cariboo Fire Centre until a replacement is found for Krista Dunlevy who retired as CFC manager in the spring, appeared at Tuesday’s city council meeting. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Interim CFC manager discusses communications with city council

Cariboo, Prince George and Northwest fire centres have hired communication specialists

Last summer’s wildfires emphasized that communication cannot be underestimated, said Les Husband, interim Cariboo Fire Centre manager who appeared as a delegation at Tuesday’s regular city council meeting in Williams Lake.

Husband is the manager of the Prince George Fire Centre, but is filling in at the CFC until a new manager is hired to replace Krista Dunlevy who retired this year.

“I think everyone is hoping, if we do get into situations this year, that things will work a lot smoother,” Husband told council during a presentation at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

“We are working through some changes, we hope, that will be better and efficient about getting information out there.”

Coun. Scott Nelson said the public is looking for clear, concise, transparent and real time information.

“The way that technology works, there could be a fire starting on South Lakeside and by the time I get home, I’ve got three e-mails and texts about the fire going on. It’s critical to get the right information out there.”

Husband said they would love to be quicker with the real time information, but they also have some priorities they have to work through.

The BC Wildfire Service already had the opportunity to try some different approaches this season with five fires in Prince George and two around Kamloops.

“We think it’s going to work better,” Husband said, noting the Cariboo, Prince George and Northwest fire centres have all hired full-time communication specialists.

When Coun. Laurie Walters asked about who communicates evacuation alerts and orders, Husband said the fire centres recommend them, but the decision comes down to the regional district or municipality to say yes or no.

Coun. Sue Zacharias asked if there is a plan to develop a fire break around the City.

“Is there ever any talk discussion about drastic logging or prescribed burning that people would see in the city?” she asked.

Husband responded there are different jurisdictions — within regional districts and municipalities and Crown lands – and what treatments will work.

“You don’t necessarily have to burn,” he explained. “I just saw today that Tolko got the permit to do some salvage around the airport, which in my opinion is a good thing.”

Abbot-Chapman report on flood and fire response

The independent report prepared by former cabinet minister George Abbot and Sq’ewa:lsw First Nation hereditary chief Maureen Chapman is a good summary of opportunities to improve and move forward, Husband said.

Read more: Most B.C. residents didn’t feel their city was prepared for wildfire season: report

“There were four recommendations that will mean quite a bit of change,” he said, noting they include establishing emergency centres, training and offering S100 to more people, changing the community wildfire protection funding and more involvement of First Nations.

In the report there are 13 strategic shifts suggested, that are different than the recommendations that will have to be dealt with separately.

“The Government has said it will have something out by October to address the report,” Husband said. “The last time we had a big report was in 2003 with the Filman Report. Anytime somebody from outside can come in and give recommendations is a good thing.”

Read more: BC Flood and Wildfire Review yields great ideas, discussion: Abbott



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Domestic violence alarm program utilized fully in Williams Lake

With recent funding and grants the number of alarms has increased to 10

Ranching focus of 91st BC Cattlemen’s AGM

“Ranching Strong: Managing for Profitability in the Cow/Calf Operation.”

Cariboo North MLA Oakes pushes for Clare’s Law legislation

The bill will allow at-risk individuals to access info on partner’s potentially abusive past

Early budgeting approved for new Williams Lake Fire Department ladder truck

If ordered in 2020 it will take about three years for the new ladder truck to be delivered

Downtown Williams Lake invites community to Spring Into Downtown

The inaugural Spring Into Downtown festival comes to the lakecity this Saturday

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Nevada court orders former Vancouver man to pay back $21.7M to investors

The commission says Michael Lathigee committed fraud over a decade ago

Most Read