Yesterday, Central Okanagan communication coordinator Bruce Smith wasn't able to say why the regional district didn't have a community wildfire protection plan in place for the site of the Terrace Mountain fire. But Mr. Smith came back with an answer today. "Yes, it was as a resulting of staffing, financing and we were also working on the fire district community wildfire protection plans," he said.
"Also, over the last two years, we've been in transition with services to the new District of West Kelowna. So that's taken up a lot of our time staff-wise to transfer to the new municipality services that we used to do that they're now doing. And we also lost or saw the transfer of about 70 staff. So that's one mitigating issue that came into play too."
"And, all the while we have been doing fire hazard and fuel reduction work in our regional parks - especially the ones that are interface parks that are close to subdivisions, neighborhoods, that sort of thing," he added. "So we've removed over the last four years probably about 5,000 beetle kill trees from some of these interface parks. We've reduced fuel and we've done FireSmarting in some cases to remove ladder fuels - that sort of thing."