1004 fires and counting- BAN Backcountry activity now.

1004 fires and counting- BAN Backcountry activity now.

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Kate Erickson started this petition to Minister of Forests Katrine Conroy and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth PSSG

With unprecedented dry conditions in the Cariboo, Kamloops, and Prince George regions of the province, restrictions to backcountry use need to be implemented. 

Dear Minister Conroy
I am writing to ask you to do something about reducing the the wildfire risk. We had dry conditions and high fire risk in 2003, when the Myra Canyon trestles burned, and again in 2017 when people were asked to voluntarily stay out of the backcountry. The dryness now is far greater than in those years. I think I am correct that we have never experienced drought, heat, and wind as we have seen in the past 3 months, but the worst may be yet to come. The next 2 months are typically our driest months. I’d think with 307 active fires the Wildfire Service is on the brink of being overwhelmed. About half of these fires are caused by lightning. Nothing can be done to reduce that risk. The other half are caused by human activity and we can do something about that. Nobody should be in the backcountry without a darn good reason. There are people, such as foresters, conservation officers, and ranchers, who need to go into the backcountry. They should be encouraged to use utmost caution and restraint. People who are going to the backcountry for recreation need to be dissuaded until conditions improve.
For me this is personal. We live and farm in a rural area near Vernon. Our home place is comprised of irrigated hay field, unirrigated pasture, and forest in about equal proportions. We are almost surrounded by forest. Our buildings are at risk, despite doing all the fire smart things. At this time of year we have never seen such a deficit of soil moisture and trees shedding their needles. The risk has never been greater. When I look at your website I do not see an appreciation of the conditions that I see on the ground. 
I see nothing in the news or the government websites that reflects the level of risk; nothing that would inform people and ask them to voluntarily stay out of the woods. Nobody intentionally starts a forest fire. They just don’t recognize risky activity until it’s too late. 
The government needs to be acting now, either by persuasion or prohibition.  It might cost you in popularity with some people but it will earn you credibility with others.


Douglas Bigelow 

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