LAST SUMMER was a devastating year for the Cariboo, with nearly 20 wildfires merging into one and creating a firestorm on the Cariboo Plateau that had never been experienced in anyone’s lifetime. In B.C., a total of 1.2 million hectares burned last summer but the majority of that destruction, nearly one million hectares, was concentrated in the Cariboo region.
According to the Ministry of Forests, nearly one quarter of Quesnel’s entire timber supply was destroyed in the summer of 2017. This on top of the previous devastation caused by the Mountain Pine beetle and before the oncoming Fir Beetle epidemic peaks and sweeps through the forest.
Quesnel’s Mayor, Bob Simpson, summed it up by explaining that there isn’t a tree species that is not under stress as a result of increasing, “maladaptation to the current climate.”
Bill McQuarrie is a Kamloops entrepreneur. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @bafflegabbed.