An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
AS SUMMER WANES, the heat waves and devastation of the 2021 wildfire season are already beginning to fade from top of mind, even though fires are still burning and many evacuees are only beginning the long process of rebuilding.
It’s not too early, though, to start planning for next year and the years beyond. Everyone, including Premier Horgan, appears to be in agreement that if this year’s wildfires proved one thing it’s that we need a new plan.
Not adjustments and upgrades to previous plans, but big moves to more effectively deal with what the last study in 2018 called “the new normal.”
If anything, that report understated the extent of what was facing us. It didn’t contemplate major changes to the resources used against the fires, assuming the BC Wildfire Service, contractors and First Nations would continue to be the frontline defenders on a seasonal basis.
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.