–by Jo Phillips
Watching the fire at Tugwell Creek blossom from four hectares to 100 over just a few days raised a few concerns for me, and inspired me (if a forest fire can inspire) to write a letter to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
I found out last night that the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Etc. is currently working on updating laws and regulations on forestry management. And I was told that, in fact, this is an opportune time to contact that Ministry with our concerns about how the forests in BC are being managed. I was also told that there are new people working in the ministry who would like to see a more ecologically sensible management of the forests in B.C. and would benefit from a public push for the same.
So I encourage anyone who is also concerned about all the clearcuts to write a letter now (I forgot to ask if the province will be sending the bill for the 70 firefighters and 5 helicopters to the private owner of the land where the fire started, so maybe someone else can take that issue up).
Here is my letter:
To: “Doug Donaldson” <Doug.Donaldson@gov.bc.ca>
Cc: “Forests ForestPracticeBranchOffice” <Forests.ForestPracticeBranchOffice@gov.bc.ca>, “premier” <email@example.com>
Sent: Thursday, July 5, 2018 10:10:19 AM
Subject: forest fires, shutting down the forests
I am writing to ask if having these forest fires break out on the Island and elsewhere in B.C. is reason to “shut down” the forest. Now. In our area (Tugwell Creek fire) there is never any lightning, so it was human caused. Even though it rained a lot in June and likely your computer models say the forests are not dry, in fact it is tinder dry out there, primarily in the clearcuts, where this particular fire started. Clearcuts do not hold water. They also make it much easier for fires to spread. Anything can cause a spark…..as you likely know. Even a glass bottle (of which there are lots being thrown out of windows in the bush) acting as a magnifier. We can’t risk more forest fires this summer. Sorry for the people whose income will be on hold for a few months, but they won’t be making any income at all if the forests keep burning up.
In that regard, I think the provincial government has the responsibility to ban clearcutting….even on private land. Besides decimating the quickly disappearing habitats for animals, berries, plants and mushrooms, adding CO2 and no longer contributing oxygen (via removing trees and plants) to the atmosphere, destroying water holding ecosystems, disappointing and outraging tourists and locals daily, clearcuts are a dangerous fire hazard to all BC citizens. We need to have forests that are diverse (not monoculture), including older trees. I’m sure there are many people in your departments who know this and know how to do this. Listen to them! Now; not in 2020 after a study. This has already been well studied in the world. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel here. Just ask Germany for some ideas.
- Final update, Tugwell Fire 100% contained
- Sunday progress report on the Tugwell Creek fire
- Out of danger, under control, the fire suppression work continues
- Update on Friday’s update on the Tugwell fire
- Effective Tugwell fire suppression efforts continue
- Tugwell fire now 50% contained
- Letter: Tugwell forest fire “inspires” call for clearcut ban, even on private land
- Tugwell fire now down to 84ha
- Tugwell fire, July 5: Still at 100ha, no danger to people or structures at this time
- Tugwell fire grows to 85ha
- Tugwell fire now 60ha and growing, 10% contained, still out of control
- UPDATED: Tugwell fire is 10ha in size, listed as “out of control”