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


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Lakecity gymnasts close out season with solid outing at Ogopogo Invitational

Seventeen Williams Lake athletes joined hundreds of other gymnasts at the meet

Cariboo Chilcotin Youth Fiddlers to host Halifax group on exchange

Group will co-host a barn dance July 14 before heading to the East Coast in September

Shadow puppetry show, art gallery pieces weave web of enchantment in Williams Lake

Al-Lisa McKay displays artwork at Station House Gallery and to perform at WLST

BC conservation officers release badger from wolf trap

Badger recovering after being caught in trap near Williams Lake

VIDEO: Stampede warm-up action with barrel racing this weekend

BCBRA Stampede Warm-Up and Afterburn Slot Races running at the Stampede Grounds

Humboldt survivors to attend NHL Awards

Players say it’s a blessing to be back together again

Justice minister: marijuana still illegal for now

Driving under the influence of drugs has always been — and will remain — against the law

Crown recommends 150-years for Quebec mosque shooter

Crown lawyers say Alexandre Bissonnette deserves to receive the longest sentence in Canadian history

192 missing after ferry sinks in Indonesia

Drivers are searching a Indonesian lake after a ferry sank earlier this week

No clear plan yet on how to reunite parents with children

A lawyer has documented more than 300 cases of adults who have been separated from a child

Port of Prince Rupert names Shaun Stevenson as new CEO

Stevenson has worked for the port for 21 years as vice president of trade development

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

Fake attempted abduction not funny to B.C. neighbourhood residents

Two teenage boys won’t face criminal charges after scaring girl

Most Read