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Statement on Wildfires near Nelson, Winlaw and Wasa

Wayne Stetski, NDP candidate for Kootenay-Columbia

Statement on Wildfires near Nelson, Winlaw and Wasa

July 21, 2021

The growing number of fires in the Kootenay region, and across British Columbia, is a troubling sign of how serious the climate change threat is, said Wayne Stetski, federal NDP candidate for the riding of Kootenay-Columbia on Thursday, and that as communities we must work together to keep each other safe during this unprecedented fire season.

“I am deeply concerned about the fires burning across the region,” said Stetski, who was the MP for the riding of Kootenay-Columbia from 2015-2019. “In particular, the Trozzo Creek fire, burning between Winlaw and Nelson, and the Bill Nye Mountain Fire near Wasa, are putting communities and families at risk.” Stetski, a former BC Parks Regional Manager, says that while fire is a normal part of the ecosystem in the region, the number, intensity and severity of fires in the last decade is a clear indication of the impact that climate change is having on our communities.

“I am urging residents to pay extra attention to the tireless work of fire crews and their support teams and ensure we don’t hamper their efforts to protect our communities, our forests and our well being. The recent reports of theft is reprehensible. There have been reports of drones being flown near the Trozzo Creek fire that have grounded water bombers for fear of a collision. Now is not the time to be getting photos; now is the time to support our fire-fighters,” added Stetski.

He will be visiting with residents in Nelson, and other communities around the riding and will invite a discussion of the impact of wildfire on our communities over the coming weeks.

“We came together to fight COVID,” says Stetski. “Let's do the same to make sure our firefighters are safe, and that we can tackle this rash of fires before any further lives or communities are lost.”

Looking across highway 93 from Bummers Flats at one of several fires started by lightning in the last week- photo by Wayne Stetski July 17

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