Resources for Fire Fighting- Future

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Resources for Fire Fighting- Future

Postby Rosemary1 » Aug 29th, 2015, 2:59 pm

No one may be able to fully predict what we will need from year to year. But hopefully this year is a lesson learned that high risk provinces will need to significantly up their budgets in the future and add to the arsenal of fire fighting equipment and trained personnel in future years. Keep an eye on our future provincial budgets .
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Re: Resources for Fire Fighting- Future

Postby trapp » Aug 29th, 2015, 3:51 pm

Not sure what people don't understand about the fire fighting budget or why they worry about it. It is set as for an average fire year. If the cost runs over it is added to. Never have I seen a "stop work" on fire control because of budget.

What's the budget for an earthquake? Probably there is no budget for that. Having said that should there be one the province would provide emergency funds where needed. It is the same for wildfires except we know there are going to be fires.

if anything where we need a larger budget is in preparedness and prevention which are usually fixed budgets. These budgets are pretty much etched in stone. They are however very important.
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Re: Resources for Fire Fighting- Future

Postby Always Sunny » Aug 29th, 2015, 6:03 pm

As a country we're pretty well prepared to provide the resources to fight our fires.

Resources (equipment and personnel) are dispatched between provinces in order to meet these needs. It's been extremely rare to have major fire activity in all provinces at once.

On occasion personnel will be moved across the border to assist in the US and visa versa. However, I know for a fact that right now most of the fire fighters in Ontario have been sitting and waiting for a real fire season.

It's still more cost effective to bring in resources from other provinces than to create hundreds of new positions, purchase more equipment, build bigger warehouses to hold it all...when at the end of the day we can be virtually rained out all season.

When I worked in forest fire management back east we'd have busy years, we'd assist in other provinces (and occasionally the US), and more often than not we'd sit around waiting for something to happen. The last thing you need is to be guaranteed to pay for more personnel and equipment by upping resources.

It's all about allocation and as trapp said, they'll never cap the budget.
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Re: Resources for Fire Fighting- Future

Postby Glacier » Sep 2nd, 2015, 11:08 am

trapp wrote:Not sure what people don't understand about the fire fighting budget or why they worry about it. It is set as for an average fire year.

That's not true. Look at the graph here as well as the updates below it. Budgets are set based upon the very lowest fire seasons, not on the average.

Over the past 12 years, 2015 comes in as the 4th most expensive fire fighting year. 2009, 2003, and 2014 were more expensive.
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Re: Resources for Fire Fighting- Future

Postby Geode » Sep 2nd, 2015, 11:30 am

There is a lot of wasteful spending on fighting fires. Contractors and the top forestry brass scratch each other's backs, eager to go out with their aircraft. Many fires were fought in remote wilderness where no structures were threatened - like some fires in the Kootenays. Waste of money, and resources - fight fires where it counts - in interface areas. Let nature take its course - rejuvenate our forests.
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Re: Resources for Fire Fighting- Future

Postby KeepingItReal » Sep 4th, 2015, 7:52 am

'Geode' wrote:
“There is a lot of wasteful spending on fighting fires.”


While it may appear that some firefighting efforts may be a waste of money, more than likely there are valid reasons forestry is taking action that the public isn’t aware. You need to give examples where this has happened so it can be determined the money was wasted or done for a valid reason that you weren’t aware of.

“Contractors and the top forestry brass scratch each other's backs, eager to go out with their aircraft”

Really? Why would “forestry brass” want to do this? There are no incentives or kick backs for forestry officials to do this. Aircraft are one of the most expensive resources in the arsenal for fighting fires. Oversight is done at all levels, local, regional and provincial to ensure that aircraft are utilized in the most efficient and cost effective manner as possible. It would be a conflict of interest for any forestry official to be “in bed” with any aviation company to enhance their profits. Decisions to utilize aircraft are made based on the best information available at the time. Again you would need to provide examples of where you have seen this happen.

“Many fires were fought in remote wilderness where no structures were threatened - like some fires in the Kootenays. Waste of money, and resources - fight fires where it counts - in interface areas. Let nature take its course - rejuvenate our forests.

Fires are fought based on their risk to life, property, environmental and timber values. If there are no values in the immediate area or surrounding area then, as you suggest, officials may choose to take a more moderate response rather than fight the fire aggressively. Given the extremely dry conditions this summer, the fire behavior and the fact fires were being pushed by winds for distances of 4, 6 even 10 kilometres in a single day, I wouldn’t see not actioning any fire this summer as an option. With these rates of spread it wouldn’t take long for a fire to reach power lines, remote houses/resorts or even threaten communities.
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Re: Resources for Fire Fighting- Future

Postby Glacier » Sep 4th, 2015, 12:46 pm

If it's in a park they let it burn, as they should. Unfortunately, poop happens once in a while. No one predicted it, nor could they have. It was a perfect storm.
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Re: Resources for Fire Fighting- Future

Postby pentona » Sep 4th, 2015, 1:20 pm

Glacier wrote:If it's in a park they let it burn, as they should. Unfortunately, poop happens once in a while. No one predicted it, nor could they have. It was a perfect storm.


So, if they make a National Park out of the area in the South Okanagan that is presently burning, in the future if that were to happen, they would just let it burn? Don't think the neighbouring houses would appreciate that.
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Re: Resources for Fire Fighting- Future

Postby Glacier » Sep 4th, 2015, 1:50 pm

pentona wrote:So, if they make a National Park out of the area in the South Okanagan that is presently burning, in the future if that were to happen, they would just let it burn? Don't think the neighbouring houses would appreciate that.

And now you know why they are opposed to the park!
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Re: Resources for Fire Fighting- Future

Postby pentona » Sep 4th, 2015, 2:05 pm

Glacier wrote:And now you know why they are opposed to the park!


If that's true re NOT putting out a fire in a National Park, then opposition is definitely warranted in this case; far too close to residences/businesses.
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Re: Resources for Fire Fighting- Future

Postby Drip_Torch » Sep 4th, 2015, 2:53 pm

So, if they make a National Park out of the area in the South Okanagan that is presently burning, in the future if that were to happen, they would just let it burn? Don't think the neighbouring houses would appreciate that.


Don't you wonder why the national parks system continues to employ initial attack fire fighters, as well as resource managers specifically trained in fire management?

Parks Canada uses science and up-to-date practices to manage fires. Weather, landscape, vegetation, fire behaviour, public safety and values at risk are considered in fire management.

Parks Canada will protect people, property, neighbouring lands and rare natural resources from wildfire. Prevention measures are important aspects of fire protection. These may include using selective thinning or removal of vegetation near buildings and communities; use of fire-resistant building materials; and ensuring access and a water supply are available for firefighters. The key is to work closely with stakeholders and communities.

Parks Canada closely monitors fire danger. If it rises, fire-fighters get ready for action. Most fires are quickly extinguished. Fires that continue to burn are assessed for appropriate action.


http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/progs/np-pn/eco/eco5.aspx

Parks runs a pretty tight program: heavy on the mitigation work, initial attack capabilities; and they maintain partnerships with all the key players, including the BC Wildfire Service and the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC). I did two seasons in Waterton Lakes - a good gig, I don't remember wanting for much in the way of equipment, and I sure don't remember just "letting the fires burn".

Sure, they'll consider a modified response, when appropriate, but they are not alone, so will BC Parks and the BC Wildfire Service.
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