LETTER – Fire mitigation work will be done in city’s most high-risk areas
NOTE: The following is a response to an inquiry to the City as described in an earlier letter to the editor from Alan Forseth. Included his Alan’s reply to the fire chief.
Thank you for the email and providing us with your concerns.
Rest assured, we too share some of your concerns with the increasing fire load around and within Kamloops and dry conditions that we have experienced over the last couple of years.
The City does do efforts to target and reduce risks in areas every year but as you can imagine with our geographic layout there is a lot of area to look at.
The cleanup and mitigation of fire risks is a complicated process and not as simple as just conducting prescribed burns in the high-risk areas. There are several factors to consider before a burn can take place safely without us causing more harm than good and not all areas can be burned as that could lead to erosion of soil and unstable ground foundations. These efforts also need to be planned well in advance and with several partners for a successful outcome.
I am arranging a meeting with the BC Wildfire Service, Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc, COK Parks, and KFR to identify the high-risk areas for all parties and then plan for some mitigation work to occur for these to be addressed.
Further to your note, there are evacuation plans for Juniper Ridge using the emergency access/egress routes and these are reviewed in the early spring and adjusted as needed in case Highland Road is compromised.
Lastly, I would still encourage all residents to review the FireSmart material to help protect their homes regardless of any work the City does as even in a maintained area, fire can still occur. If you would like a KFR member to come and assist with conducting a FireSmart inspection on your property and provide recommendations for increased safety just reach out to us.
I hope this has answered some of your concerns.
Thank you/Kukwstsétsemc, Ken.
Fire Chief | City of Kamloops
Dear Sir … thank you for your email this morning (May 1st), and the information that multiple agencies, and governing bodies, will be meeting to discuss, “The cleanup and mitigation of fire risks” in our City.
I feel it is important to point out that as a resident of Juniper Ridge for 30 years now, this area (to the best of my knowledge) has never been addressed. I do not know if you took the time to have a look at the spot in question before sending me this email, but if not, I would certainly encourage you to do so at your earliest opportunity — I am sure you will agree this stretch of city property between the south side of Qu’Appelle, East of Highland Road, which is feet deep (in numerous spots) with highly flammable material, should be remedied as quickly as possible.
I can only hope that this area gets addressed before a serious fire breaks out as, having been made aware of this issue, the City would very likely be responsible for any damages incurred, should a fire break out.
Sincerely … Alan
ALAN R. FORSETH
Your time might be better spent conversing with the folks at Logan Lake.