Kamloops will host Shuswap Firestorm forum next week

Wildfire forum next week

A so-called public policy forum titled Shuswap Firestorm is slated to run next week in Kamloops, featuring a discussion about last summer's devastating fires and what changes might arise as a result.

Among the speakers at the forum will be Jim Cooperman, Allan Willcocks, Karl Bischoff and Columbia Shuswap Regional District director Jay Simpson. The topic of discussion is the 2023 Bush Creek East wildfire and the devastation of the North Shuswap and the the future of wildfire management in B.C.

The wildfire grew in size and scope after an attempted controlled burn got out of control during a windstorm last August. 176 homes and structures were destroyed in the fire.

Jim Cooperman, author and environmentalist, will be in attendance to talk about the petition he delivered to Premier David Eby on Feb. 15 calling for a public inquiry into the Bush Creek East wildfire and reforms to forest management and wildfire protocols.

Allan Willocks is a former Northwestern Ontario fire director and he will bring his years of experience with forest management and wildfire fighting strategies to the discussion.

Karl Bischoff is a North Shuswap rancher and logger with many years of experience fighting wildfires. He was also one of the residents on the ground trying to save local homes during the fires.

Jay Simpson is the CSRD director for the North Shuswap and will be there to discuss concerns about evacuation.

The forum will take place on Wednesday, March 6, at the Alumni Theatre at Thompson Rivers University.

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