The Gustafsen fire as seen on the evening of July 6. Max Winkelman photo.

Era of Megafires presentation coming to 100 Mile

Experts to present on summer’s fires

The South Cariboo Sustainability Society (SCSS) combined with the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society are hosting two Era of Megafires nights, one in 100 Mile House and one in Williams Lake.

Through a special film presentation by Dr. Paul Hessburg and a live presentation and Q&A with fire ecologist Bob Gray, the events will be a forum for discussion about this year’s wildfires.

Gray’s presentation will focus on local issues, according to Peter Jarvis, who’s with the South Cariboo Sustainability Society.

“We had issues with it all summer. So all these various wildfires, you need to understand why they happen and how they’re going to continue happening and what you can do about it. This will transfer that information.”

The SCSS’ mandate is to provide as much information as possible, says Jarvis.

“It undoubtedly is to do with climate change and climate change is only making things worse but even aside from that, they would still happen. These fires happen and we’ve tried to suppress them in the past and we’ve changed the ecology the spacing and types of trees that grow around. So there is a need to go back to the way things used to be.”

In other places, such as California, they’ve realized that by suppressing fires too much, that fires do occur they can’t control them anymore and they become huge fires, says Jarvis.

At past events, they’ve had over 100 people attend and they wouldn’t be surprised if they got more than 200 given the summer’s fires, says Jarvis.

“I would be super ecstatic if we got 300. If we got more than that I don’t know what we’d do with everybody,” Jarvis says with a laugh. “It should be really informative and I think really entertaining.”

In 100 Mile House, the event starts at 7 p.m. at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School on Nov. 29. For more information call 250-791-7284. Entry is by donation.

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