It has been a huge relief for many that the downtown Waterton businesses and homes escaped destruction from the fire. The fire fighters deserve praise for all their hard work to protect them.
My issue is with Parks Canada who have a ‘let it burn’ policy because it is ‘natural’. How differently would the outcome have been if the fire had been addressed as soon as it crossed the park border, instead of letting it burn? It is reported that at least 70% of the park’s forest has been destroyed. My concern is more about the people and businesses who have lost their homes and livelihoods. Who helps them recover? Yes, I heard there is a fund raiser planned and this demonstrates people’s concern and compassion. However, we are talking millions of dollars here to rebuild what Alpine Stables, the Garners and the Jenkins’ and others who I don’t know the names of, have lost: Homes, barns, sheds, shops, equipment, tools, feed and more.
Last week, there was a prairie fire that started in CFB Suffield by Brooks because of bomb detonation. That fire spread out of control and eventually left the government area and went on to devastate neighboring ranches, destroying not only a ranch yard, but also acres of pasture and 160 cow/calf pairs. That community has rallied together and called for the government to take responsibility for these damages and make reparation. CFB Suffield has actually acknowledged their responsibility for this and we have yet to hear what the reparations will look like.
I feel that there should be an inquiry about the Parks Canada decisions about the Waterton fire. Their ‘let it burn’ policy is responsible for the devastation of these people’s homes and livelihoods. Officials sitting in an office far away made decisions about how to deal with a life threatening fire in our back yard and they should be held accountable for those decisions.
Let’s hold the government accountable. Talk to/ write letters to government officials.