Fire Zone might be on chopping block

Mayor John Harwood to meet with Ministry officials about proposed closure of Clearwater Fire Zone

The provincial government is considering closing Clearwater Fire Zone, Mayor John Harwood reported to town council during its March 15 meeting.

“The possible implications include loss of of people and jobs, less equipment and longer callout times,” he said.

“It’s not just Clearwater that would be involved, but also Valemount and McBride,” Harwood added.

The mayor said he intends to meet with the head of the Kamloops Fire Centre soon to discuss the issue.

Councillor Barry Banford, who was operations manager with the former Clearwater Forest District before his retirement, is providing the mayor with a list of concerns to take to the meeting.

Clearwater Fire Zone, which is located in the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations office on Highway 5, presently is headed by a forest protection officer, with help from a forest protection technician, a forest protection assistant, and an operations assistant.

Typically it also has one or two three-person Initial Attack crews stationed here during the summer months.

How many staff would remain if the fire zone closes is not yet clear.


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