It’s been a record breaking year for forest fires in Saskatchewan and elsewhere across the prairies.
Daniel Johnson is an climate activist from Saskatchewan who recently wrote an article for the Media Co-op called Let It Burn? in which he claims both provincial New Democratic Party and Saskatchewan Party shoulder some of the blame for the fire disaster now unfolding in that province.
“The extent of the fires is unprecedented,” Johnson writes. “But that’s not actually suprising to people who have been following events in Saskatchewan over the past few years. In 2013, very little coverage was given to the province’s closing of the manned fire towers in the north, replaced by cameras that show very little.”
Johnson also points out “the province scaled back it’s fire control budget, which has now been drained entirely, and have continued with a ‘let it burn’ policy in which no effort is made to fight a fire until it grows over 20 kilometres.”
623 fires to date in Saskatchewan, started by lightning and by people, threaten or destroy homes and other properties, leaving people removed from their communities and often sheltered in large places such as schools.
Johnson discusses the wild fire and forest fire situation across the prairies, as well as the ongoing issues surrounding the sheltering of people, in this interview with Michael Welch of CKUW 95.9 FM: