The BC Wildfire Service and its ministry partners are working to improve their collaboration and partnerships with First Nations governments related to wildfire response and recovery efforts.
Working with First Nations peoples as true partners at all levels of planning, decision-making and implementation is important to the BC Wildfire Service, especially in light of the wildfires this year in the Fraser Complex and Babine Complex. After discussions with local First Nations communities, the Northwest Fire Centre will be taking a more collaborative approach to wildfire recovery efforts this year.
The focus will be on working closely with First Nations communities to develop mutually agreed-upon plans for recovery that support broader ministry goals of reconciliation and government-to-government collaboration. The BC Wildfire Service is committed to improving rehabilitation and recovery efforts in a way that incorporates and respects First Nations jurisdiction, knowledge and cultural values.
The BC Wildfire Service is grateful for those First Nations and local communities that stepped in when firefighting resources were stretched to their limits this summer. As the province transitions into the recovery phase of this year’s fire season, community firefighting resources will still be needed for the next phase of wildfire management.
For their efforts on the Fraser Complex and Babine Complex during this year’s wildfire season, the BC Wildfire Service would like to thank: the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako; Stellat’en First Nation; Cheslatta Carrier Nation; Wet’suwet’en First Nation; Nee-Tahi-Buhn Indian Band; Skin Tyee First Nation; Lake Babine Nation; Yekooche First Nation; Ts’il Kaz Koh First Nation; Saik’uz First Nation; Nak'adzli Whut'en; Nadleh Whut’en Band; the local municipalities of Burns Lake, Vanderhoof and Fraser Lake; the ministry district offices in Burns Lake, Vanderhoof and Fort St. James; community members and local industry.
- There are currently 25 firefighters from Stellat’en First Nation and Nadleh Whut’en First Nation working on the Shovel Lake and Island Lake wildfires.
- Through the support and initiation of the Cheslatta Carrier Nation, more community firefighters will be assigned to the wildfires on the south side of François Lake, within the Babine Complex.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air-quality advisories in B.C., go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca
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