The City of Kamloops' Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) articulates the wildfire situation within the municipal boundaries of the City of Kamloops to administrative and elected officials, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and other stakeholders.
The intent of the CWPP is to organize multiple hazard reduction projects, programs, and initiatives into a single unified plan.
Additionally, the CWPP conveys management direction from the City of Kamloops Fire Chief, educates the public and stakeholders and explains the processes used to identify wildfire risks. It also provides direction around appropriate mitigations.
- Wildfires occur regularly in the natural environment surrounding and within the Kamloops City limits and will continue to occur regardless of the most successful prevention programs.
- In some natural environments, planned prescribed fire (as opposed to wildfire) is desirable and effective in restoring ecological health and reducing the risk of wildfire losses.
- Losses to wildfire cannot be eliminated; however, they can be significantly reduced with appropriate pre-planning and preparation.
- Education, engineering, and enforcement are the pillars of wildfire risk reduction.
- A comprehensive approach involving fuel management, infrastructure and structural design, pre-suppression preparedness, and emergency response must be taken to effectively reduce the risk of wildfire losses.
- Mitigations must not only be planned for, but carried out.
- Due to the dynamic nature of wildland vegetation and community, ongoing maintenance must occur and mitigations must be re-evaluated and adapted to changing situations.
Historically, forest fires naturally occurred every three to thirty years in Kamloops. Because of this frequency, they burned much cooler and smaller than they do today. However, extremely effective fire suppression over the past century has allowed for forest ingrowth and dead vegetative material to accumulate, increasing the fuel load in our natural forests.
To add to this concern, an increasing number of communities are being established in rural areas, placing homes directly adjacent to flammable areas and increasing the number and magnitude of wildland/urban interface incidents in British Columbia.
Wildland fire suppression and structural fire suppression can be extremely dangerous and costly. Wildland/urban interface fire suppression increases the expense and danger to all suppression resources and the public exponentially.
The wildland/urban interface is the geographical point where the diverse values of the wilderness and urban development meet. In the interface, structures and vegetation close enough that a wildfire may spread to structures or a structural fire may ignite trees and vegetation.