Parts of the Southside were heavily burnt in the wildfires during the summer of 2018, which the “Common Ground” podcast discusses.

New podcast discusses Burns Lake wildfires

A new podcast explores issues around wildfires in the Burns Lake and wider Interior region.

Produced by the Future Ecologies show and released on Sept. 11, “Common Ground” includes interviews with some of the speakers at the Northern Conference for Wildfire Resilience, which was held in Burns Lake on April 24-26.

LOOK BACK: Wildfire risks spurring major rethink, conference hears

Clint Lambert, Electoral Area E Director with the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) was featured in the podcast as he showed the producers some of the hardest-hit sites of the 2018 wildfires, like the Takysie Lake and Verdun areas.

Lambert spoke about the “Wolf Pack” citizen firefighters who chose to ignore evacuation orders and fight the fires themselves amid frustrations over how the Wildfire Service was handling the disaster.

READ MORE: Officials’ miscalculations caused chaos during wildfires, locals say

“We’ve done everything by the book, so now we have to change the rules in the book. In the past these fires have been away from communities and now that they’re on top of communities the forestry [service] is going to have to come up a different way of dealing with or fighting with or working with a community to put it out,” Lambert said.

Also included were interviews with forestry experts Bruce Blackwell and Dr. Sonja Leverkus, both of whom gave presentations at the April conference.

Blackwell talked about how wildfire management has to allow for more natural disturbances because suppression goes against the natural character of Interior forests.

The podcast was produced for the Bulkley Valley Research Centre, which also organized the Wildfire Resiliency Conference.

The RDBN contributed $2,450 for the project, the Village of Burns Lake $1,000 and the Bulkley Valley Credit Union $500. Additional expenses were covered with funds from the Northern Conference for Wildfire Resilience. It was initially estimated to cost $7,375 in total to make.

“Common Ground” was the second part in a series on wildfires. The first part, “Partnerships, Practices, Policy and Planning” focussed on the challenges of fighting the wildfires in 2017.

Both are available at this link: https://www.futureecologies.net/bvrc

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