Appropriate action to prevent wildfire risks or to prepare for a quick response was not taken by the Provincial government according to the Tsilhqot’in National Government which is calling for a public inquiry into this year’s wildfire response.
The TNG issued a press release Friday that the lessons and recommendations in the Firestorm 2003 Provincial Review Report were largely ignored which put lives, lands, and property at risk.
“This was the worst wildfire season in B.C. history,” said Tribal Chairman, Chief Joe Alphonse.
“Government agencies repeatedly failed to acknowledge First Nation authority, our expertise, and our capability to protect our communities and territory. Evacuation orders were unlawfully pushed on our communities and we were not consulted on road closures, removal of health personnel and other resource allocations.”
“These failings put our communities at greater risk.”
A public inquiry that includes the Federal Government according to Alphonse is needed to investigate, clarify the problems, recommend improvements, and also restore confidence in wildfire response before the next wildfire season.
“We must ensure all communities are prepared, protected and respected during
wildfire emergencies,” he says.