Ministry clarifies its position on Clearwater Fire Zone

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations is not considering “closing” the Clearwater Fire Zone

Editor, The Times:

I’m writing on behalf of the BC Wildfire Service to correct several errors that appeared in a March 22 Clearwater Times article (“Fire Zone might be on chopping block”) about the status of the Clearwater Fire Zone.

Contrary to what was indicated in the article, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations is not considering “closing” the Clearwater Fire Zone. The zone office on Highway 5 will remain open and staffed as usual to serve members of the public, industry and other local stakeholders.

As always, crews will be pre-positioned in Blue River or Clearwater if fire conditions warrant it. The BC Wildfire Service will be making some operational adjustments to make better use of available resources and personnel during fire season.

In the southern portion of the Clearwater Fire Zone, firefighting staff will remain in Clearwater but will now work under the direction of Kamloops Fire Zone staff.

In the northern part of the Clearwater Fire Zone, firefighting crews in the nearby Robson Valley Fire Zone (part of the Prince George Fire Centre) are better situated geographically to respond to fire incidents in that area, which includes Blue River.

The primary goals of these operational changes are to improve the BC Wildfire Service’s response times in the Clearwater Fire Zone and allow for a more co-ordinated approach to aircraft and crew deployments in neighbouring fire zones.

Murray Henry

Fire Centre Manager

Kamloops Fire Centre

BC Wildfire Service