In regards to Sang Han's letter "Forest firefighting unfair" I would like to add some more feedback to the ridiculous inadequate response from the Forest Ministry of British Columbia to resource communities like Fraser Lake, Burns Lake and Fort St. James. Listening to Public Safety Minister Mike Farnsworth on BCTV tonight was disheartening, the minister was way too late in supporting resource communities in northern B.C.
With regards to Fraser Lake in particular, many West Fraser timber cut blocks that supply the Lejac mill in Fraser Lake are currently experiencing some type of fire event. With our Endako mine shut down in care and maintenance the Lejac Mill is the lifeblood of Fraser Lake and surrounding area.
Many Vanderhoof residents are employed at Lejac West Fraser Mills. The disrespect and callous response to both major wildfires currently trying to encompass and consume Fraser Lake borders on being a reckless response from Victoria.
When a community becomes surrounded by fire and, as Sang Han's letter points out, the B.C. Forest Service is intent on protecting perceived high value and more urban areas in southern B.C., the Forest Service of British Columbia has lost focus on what high value assets are in British Columbia. The West Fraser Lejac Mill and surrounding timber lands are high value assets that need to be protected, not abused with an inadequate air tanker and proper number of helicopters to support the hard working and disrespected fire fighters in the fire camp, in the Fraser Lake soccer field.
It is past time that the minister of forests commits to proper air support for overworked and under supported forest fire fighters trying to protect Fraser Lake and the Lejac mills and associated timber assets.