An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
ONE OF THE MANY QUESTIONS on everybody’s mind during this smoky, fiery summer is, “how can we do this better?”
That is, are there more effective ways to fight wildfires than what we’ve been doing? Armchair Mayor reader Tony Klancar thinks so. He thinks B.C. needs its own air wing, one that could be anchored with a made-in-B.C. airtanker designed and built specifically for fighting fires, unlike others that are adapted for the job.
The answer, he suggests, just might be the made-in-B.C. Canadair CL-415, a big red and yellow bird that costs $30 million apiece and can scoop up 1,400 gallons of water in 12 seconds. Nicknamed the Super Scooper, 69 of them fly in eastern Canada, and another 100 in other parts of the world. This is not your grandfather’s Mars Martin.
Thirty million is nothing to sneeze at but its manufacturers claim that, due to its capabilities it’s actually highly cost effective.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.