Preparing for a Disaster

The interface fires of 2003 were a wake-up call to many families across the province. It reminded them of the need to increase their ability to provide for their well being in case of an emergency or disaster.

Tuesday May 25,2004 Bob Kelly, manager for the North East region from Provincial Emergency Program (PEP) was in town to discuss wild land interface fire and emergency preparedness issues for Tumbler Ridge this coming year. Bob brought along Stan Harvey from Prince George, Senior Protection officer from the Prince George Forest Protection Branch , Ric Grayson Forest Protection officer from Dawson Creek and Arlen Miller, RCMP Inspector. The purpose of this meeting was to show Tumbler Ridge first responders, ESS, and Mayor and Council a reasonable fire situation near the town under normal conditions. We could then get a perspective to risk and vulnerability here.

The exercise used video, Power Point and a tabletop exercise. The video showed the behaviour of a wild land interface fire and what steps could be taken to minimise the risk of losing your home to a forest fire. This was followed by a tabletop exercise that took information from the video and put it into perspective for Tumbler Ridge. This was an eye-opening exercise that showed how quickly a fire in this area could spread given various conditions.

Bob Kelly wrapped things up with a Power Point presentation that explained the forest fire situation in the province last summer. Kelly talked about how the fires were managed and how stretched resources were because of the number of fires that were happening around the province at the same time.

All of the information presented will be useful as Tumbler Ridge looks towards change in the future.