November 30, 2022

Free In-Person Event/Online Webinar: Facing the Flames: Co-Existing with Forest Fire

With thanks to Clean Energy Canada

This is both an in-person and an online event.

The emergence of catastrophic mega-fires over the past five years demands transformative action in BC. Unprecedented fires are burning huge tracts of culturally and ecologically important territory, threatening lives and livelihoods, blanketing the province in smoke, exacerbating systemic inequities, and releasing staggering amounts of emissions into the atmosphere. It’s a frequency, scale, and severity we’ve never seen before, fuelled by growing climate impacts, altered forest landscapes, and the forced removal of Indigenous Stewardship and good fire from these lands. Catastrophic mega-fires that we’re unable to suppress and control are our emerging reality– but they don’t have to be.

Join us in exploring big ideas for the future of wildfire in our province. Speakers Joe Gilchrist, Salish Interior Firekeeper, and Paul Hessburg, Senior Research Ecologist with US Forest Services, will illuminate the rapidly changing landscape of wildfire and ignite dialogue on pathways forward.

Date: Tuesday December 5, 2022.

Time: 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

You can register by clicking this link.

4:30 pm Doors (light snacks provided)
5 – 7 pm Event (hybrid: online and in-person)
7 – 8 pm Reception (refreshments provided)
We look forward to exploring this topic with genuine curiosity and eagerness to learn. We expect all those who join us to come with humility, a commitment to listening and (un)learning, and a solution-seeking attitude. As a participant in this dialogue, you are invited to be an active voice in the conversation and to share your perspective. All are welcome in this space.

Following the dialogue, we will host a reception with light refreshments and a chance to mingle with the speakers.

A variety of food will be available that endeavour to cater to various dietary and cultural food preferences.

Facing the Flames: New and Old Ways of Co-Existing With Fire image
Eamon started his career with the BC Public Service in 1991 as a Park Ranger in Mount Robson Park.
He moved on to join the Land Use Coordination Office, then into the role of Planning Manager with the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management, then Regional Executive Director with the Integrated Land Management Bureau (ILMB) and the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) for 10 years. In October 2018, Eamon was appointed into the role as Assistant Deputy Minister of the North Area (FLNRORD).
In February 2022, he became the Associate Deputy Minister of Forests.

Facing the Flames: New and Old Ways of Co-Existing With Fire image
Joe is a member of the Skeetchestn Indian Band near Kamloops and the Vice President of the Interior Salish Firekeepers. Moving to Merritt at six years old, Joe noticed fire being used to improve hay production, cattle feed and deer habitat. Joe started firefighting at the age of 15 as an emergency hire. He then became a member of the newly formed Merritt Firedevils Type 1 Unit Crew in 1991, first as a squad boss and then as Unit Crew Leader the following year. In 1996, Joe became a full time employee for 17 years with BC Wildfire service in the Merritt Fire Zone after completing a 16-week Fire Prevention Technician course.

Dr. Paul Hessburg is Senior Research Ecologist with the USDA Forest Service, Pacific NorthWest Research Station, Professor at four western US universities and the University of British Columbia, and current President of the International Association for Fire Ecology (AFE). His research explores wildfire and climate change effects on historical, current, and future landscape dynamics and resilience. Paul holds a PhD from Oregon State University and a BS from the University of Minnesota.


Robin Prest is the Program Director at Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, where he strengthens the democratic process through dialogue-based engagement and builds the capacity of governments, citizens and stakeholders to co-create solutions to pressing issues.
Robin regularly supports elected officials and senior decision-makers to improve the clarity and impact of public engagement initiatives, and to embed engagement within organizational cultures.

Elodie Jacquet is the Manager of Knowledge and Practice at Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. Elodie has developed and refined her convening and facilitation skills in a wide variety of dialogues, from Canada’s World, a national citizen engagement initiative on foreign policy, to the National Reconciliation Gatherings, the Citizens’ Dialogue on Canada’s Energy Future or the community guided dialogues for the National inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

The dialogue will be streamed live using the Zoom platform and YouTube. A link will be sent in advance of the event, accessible through browser or phone. To engage fully you will need:

A laptop, computer or smartphone
A stable internet connection
Speakers or headphones

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