Blog Archives

Forget Smokey the Bear: How First Nation fire wisdom is key to megafire prevention

annie-kruger

Annie Kruger was the last firekeeper appointed by her people, say family. Her granddaughter is in training to take over, but has more to learn yet, and the tradition tapered off with Kruger’s death. (Don Gayton)

Fire prevention policies of the past have created conditions for today’s out-of-control blazes, experts say

By Yvette Brend, CBC News, July 15, 2017

The grandchildren of Annie Kruger remember her lighting an Export A Green cigarette, throwing on her logger’s jacket and heading out to set fires near Penticton, B.C.

Before she died she was a firekeeper — as were generations before her in the Okanagan region of the province — and it was her job to use flames to purify the land by setting fire to berry bushes, hillsides and even mountains to renew growth and clear brush and create natural fireguards. Read the rest of this entry

‘We’re not leaving’: Tempers flare between First Nation, RCMP amid wildfire evacuation order

chief-joe-alphons

Chief Joe Alphons of the Tl’etinqox First Nation said 300 people from his community have stayed behind, choosing not to obey an evacuation order for the area. (CBC)

‘Community stress levels were really high … I kind of lost it a little bit,’ chief says

By Rhianna Schmunk, CBC News July 11, 2017

A B.C. First Nations chief says emotions ran high between himself and the RCMP when he told officers residents wouldn’t be obeying an evacuation order as several wildfires threaten the community. Read the rest of this entry