A long hot summer for forest firefighters

June 18, 2015

Who doesn’t love the summer? Spending long sunny days outdoors doing the things we love with the people we love.

We’re so fortunate in B.C. to be surrounded by the most beautiful forests and parks in the country – resources protected by BCGEU members who work in the park and forest services.

However, summer brings challenges too. By the look of it, this is shaping up to be a busy year for our Fire Management Branch and forest firefighters, many of whom are auxiliaries hired for the season. With the early arrival of dry summer weather has come an early start to the forest fire season.

As I write this, the 1270-hectare Cisco Road wildfire is burning south of Lytton. Roughly 111 firefighters, represented by the BCGEU, are working to suppress the fire, reinforced by 10 helicopters and pieces of heavy equipment.

The women and men on the fire line are supported by many more coordinating-related tasks. They include fire suppression administration, evacuation management, communications, volunteer coordination and emergency services.

I want to recognize and thank the highly trained, courageous professionals who protect public safety and property in B.C. For them, summer means long hot days, dangerous work and spending less time with the people they love. They deserve our gratitude and acknowledgement.

I’d like to hear from members in the Fire Management Branch about your experiences this summer. Send me an e-mail at president@bcgeu.ca 






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