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Western Forestry Contractors’ Association
Rumor Mill RoundUpDate
21 November 2019
Volume 19 Issue 17

Warning: The facts contained in this issue make no references to the holiday shopping season and are not intended as gift ideas, or stocking stuffers.

Wildfire Smoke Is Bad, But Just How Bad?

Wildfire smoke may look epic from a distance. But if you are exposed to it up close, it’s all about the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

Last spring WorksafeBC included wildfire fighters under its presumption of injury provisions allowing workers expanded access to job-related compensation. This legislation recognizes fire fighters can suffer mental and physical illnesses as a result of the nature of their work. Now our government is supporting research to better understand the nature of the hazard. The BC Wildfire Service has provided $305,000 to the University of Northern British Columbia and the University of Alberta to study how working on wildfires can affect health. The research will look at the hazardous organic compounds wildfire fighters breathe in the air and absorb through their skin. It will also look at the practicality and effectiveness of respirators. Next January’s 2020 WFCA Conference will include a workshop on the risks and strategies associated with this health hazard. We might also wonder what risks are posed to loggers and planters who disturb the ash and black left after a wildfire during salvage and reforestation.

Are Today’s Tree Planters As Hairy As Their Predecessors?

Josh Litchi MC at the recent From the Ground Up film festivals in Vancouver and Victoria introduced films that went from tree planting nostalgia and culture to the miracle of rayon and planting in well-decomposed wood. People loved it.

Venues in Victoria and Vancouver were packed for the first two performance of From the Ground Up—The First Annual Tree Planting Film Festival. Organizer Tim Tchida called it “A celebration of tree planting culture.” He plans to continue the celebration by taking the festival on the road to cities in the East soon, which also harbor members of the tribe who have stooped billions of times to raise up the nation’s next forests. Here in the West MC Josh Litchi held his own in charge of standup and keeping the show moving. Looking at a crowd that held a mix of the planting young and old he claimed, “You all look this same.” This was a comment on the apparent common expression of cultural DNA, rather than an observation that the older members in the audience were that well preserved. Certainly, the enjoyment felt all round—which included music and Forest Safety Advocate Jordan Tesluk’s impressive spoken word poetry—was in part due to the nostalgia of the earlier films from as far back as the 70s. So it will be interesting to see what comes out of the tree planting woodwork next year when the festivals planned will feature recent films made by this generation of planting videographers, animators, and filmmakers including prizes for the best of them.

Yes, We Are Working On The Program For The
2020 WFCA Annual Conference, Tradeshow and AGM

Call it creative tension. That is what you are probably feeling if you are wondering about seeing our full program for next year’s WFCA program to be held in Prince George January 29 to 31, 2020. Meanwhile, while you are creating that tension, we are organizing the panelists, presenters and celebrity guest speakers on topics including workplace safety, forest stewardship, how investors see the BC forest industry, what the Loyal Opposition would do different, how we can stabilize contract wildfire fighting, and the latest summary of the tendering for next years’ very large planting program. The lineup is nearly complete. So keep reading the RoundUpDate as we confirm and announce next year’s program, and check out our Conference Page Here.