In 2015, I watched the Sechelt mine site fire rage from a friend’s deck in Sandy Hook. The next day, ash was on my roof and cars in Upper Roberts Creek.
I called then-Sechelt fire chief Bill Higgs to ask what I could do. He arrived with Roberts Creek chief Pat Higgins and FireSmart representative Dave Mclraith. We started the process of FireSmarting my property.
Fast forward to the heat dome of 2021. Our family heard and watched helicopters and water bombers flying over our roof to douse another human-caused fire in upper Lockyer. Panicky neighbours called. We don’t know where to go, so our family decided to head to the golf course if necessary.
Fortunately, that fire was put out quickly. The bombers arrived in time from Kamloops! There was no wind!
Not so with the mine site fire. Eight hundred acres of beautiful mixed forest burned, twice as much acreage as all of the Roberts Creek parks. Most importantly, it cost the life of Creeker firefighter John Phare.
It is time for action, education, and most importantly, teamwork to do our best to protect lives, properties, and our beloved and stressed forests.
I call on everyone on the Coast to join us April 30 to discuss this issue at the Roberts Creek Hall at noon. You will get a tool kit on FireSmarting your homes, neighbourhoods, and community. You will have an opportunity to discuss your concerns as well. I call on all levels of government, the RCMP, and our school board to join us as well. Jurisdictions need to be put aside and teamwork needs to be our operative word.