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

Ferry connecting Port Hardy and Bella Coola expected to set sail this summer

Its first in-service route will sail in central coast waters on May 18, 2019.

Local leaders continue to apply pressure to keep Atlantic Power open

The biomass-energy plant’s electricity purchase agreement expires June 30, 2019

Photos: Rugby hall of fame inductee imparts advice to Falcons players

Leslie Cripps represented Canada at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups, and was captain in 2010

Thomas-Dueck Powwow happening all day Friday

Renamed in honour of a student and a teacher, Columneetza’s powwow is open to everyone

Over $650,00 given to rural communities thanks to Rural Dividends

Five communities, including Williams Lake, are receiving $10,000 for project grants

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Judge denies requests from Calgary couple charged in son’s death

David and Collet Stephan wanted $4 million to pay for past and future legal bills

Explosion sends B.C. firefighter to hospital

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Ex-Mountie investigating ‘Surrey six’ murders pleads guilty to obstruction

Derek Brassington entered his plea in B.C. Supreme Court on Friday

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

RECALL: Salmon Village maple salmon nuggets

Customers warned not to eat product due to possible Listeria contamination

More than 100,000 toxic toys named in Canada-wide recall

Plastic doll contains levels of phthalates over allowable limit and may pose chemical hazard

Most Read