Ministry to "accelerate" wildfire protection planning following a Public Eye investigation

When we spoke to Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell last month, he told us he hadn't heard of any problems with the provincial funding for community wildfire protection plans. But following Public Eye's extensive coverage of those problems - which included identifying dozens of communities that don't have such plans - Minister Bell has announced he will be assigning 16 additional wildfire management branch staff to "accelerate" their completion. Our reporting also revealed many communities don't have the money to act on those plans. And there's some relief for them too. The Union of British Columbia Municipalities will now use provincial dollars to pick up 75 percent of the cost of all forest fire mitigation projects - up from 50 percent.


Congrats, Sean, It's usually hard to see a direct link between reporting and effort and significant action. In this case, the government showed no signs of interest or concern until you started reporting on the issue. It's especially gratifying when the problems being addressed are serious, as they are in this case.

I strongly concur with Paul - well done Sean! And while we all love doing significant stories that have impact, not often can one say that the response to a story might literally save lives!

Congrats Sean!

I read The Brown Envelope and gotta say the $$$ version helped.

Nice to see ONE journalist get policy instead of porn :-).


Ah Josef K- you are so fickle.

Josef K | October 1, 2009 1:12 PM | Reply
Sean, just wondering, but who cares and why?

To YOU DA MAN! all in the same day.

The two comments were separate topics, hence the comments.

I wonder what the qualifications are of these 16 new ministry staff. I didn't think there we that many qualified fire ecologists in the province: certainly not in the ministry. In fact I am not sure what the professional standards are to qualify managers as competent in this kind of work in B.C. Nor are there any clearly defined standards (Firesmart is appropriate for a residence and surrounding grounds; but not a watershed or a whole WUI area) as to what kinds of treatments are appropriate for these WUI sites and the various methods of treatment these new managers are to implement. Looks like more smokeā€¦

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