Up to six community members will be receiving their S-100 training in the next couple of weeks to become fire wardens for the Chilcotin Fire Zone.
“The fire warden program is established in different parts of the province, and it’s basically where we have individuals from local communities, usually in remote communities, that will help us out in prevention and detection activities in wildfire situations,” said Dave Fleming, Deputy Fire Centre Manager of the Cariboo Fire Centre.
“So we’re trying to find some local people there that have good knowledge of the geography and the landscape that are interested in helping move this project along.”
Fleming added that the Alexis Creek Fire Zone office has been in contact with the different communities and have put forward names already.
“The goal is that we’ll have these people trained up and ready to go in mid-July,” he said.
“There was no one decision that led to us bringing this back. We just thought as an opportunity to get the local knowledge and expertise to be able to help us out in certain situations and thought it was a good opportunity to bring it back at this time.”
Also implementing the fire warden program for this year is the Quesnel Fire Zone. It has already trained 8 to 9 individuals according to Fleming.
“I think in the next year or so probably the Central Zone here in Williams Lake, as well as 100 Mile, would be I’m thinking that they’ll be up and running in the next year or two as well.”
The BC Wildfire Service said there are approximately 400 fire wardens located across the province who are hired on an “as-needed’ basis during periods of heightened wildfire activity.
“Fire wardens are an important resource for detecting fires in areas of high fire risk,” the Service said.
“Fire wardens may be delegated limited authority under the Wildfire Act to extinguish fires as well as assist in a variety of program areas such as fire operations, prevention, and detection.”