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BC Wildfire Service outlines what the year-round model will look like in PG

The BC Wildfire Service is moving to a year-round workforce with increased funding.

In this year’s budget, an additional $145 million was allocated to strengthen emergency management.

But what will the approaching 12 months in the PG Fire Center be like as our area includes more snow and cooler temperatures during the winter?

Executive Director, Ian Meier gave the answer to MyPGNow.com.

“There is a lot of training for our staff. We have a crisis period in the spring that we can spread out and do more training over the 12 months. It just gives us a lot of flexibility in how we can run our business.

“There’s a lot of community planning and working with local fire departments to make sure that when we show up to an incident together, we sync up really well, we know each other. There, there is a broader emergency management.

While areas like Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland may experience traditional wildfire activity during the new approach year-round, prevention and mitigation will be the main areas of attack in the north.

“When the snow pack doesn’t allow it, we really want to build relationships with all of our communities across the province, whether it’s rural communities in BC or Indigenous or non-Indigenous communities.

“We are also responding to other hazards now, so we have a flood response, we are part of the atmospheric river response and our staff will need training there so that we can continue to respond to these incident as well.”

Meier added that the province has had three of the worst wildfire seasons on record in the past five years.

The annual model takes effect at the start of the new fiscal year, April 1.

The BC Wildfire Service employs approximately 1,600 seasonal workers each year.