Mallard Fire Taught Many Lessons: Researcher

Tuesday, October 06, 2009 at 14:09



A forest fire researcher says her team’s data suggests that a lot of important lessons were learned during a fire that cost La Ronge 10 homes.


Dr. Judith Kulig is a health sciences researcher from the University of Lethbridge who has been analyzing the impact that La Ronge’s 1999 Mallard fire and a 2003 fire in Barriere, B.C. had on people in those communities.


Kulig says that after a household survey of residents who still live here 10 years after the fire, she believes the town gained a lot of insight into both its weaknesses and its strengths, in terms of coping with a major disaster.


“People felt that there had been a lot of lessons learned about dealing with wildfires in their community. As people are well aware, there have been subsequent fires (in the area) since the Mallard one, and so they feel that there was improved communication. For example, the development of the new fire hall that’s shared between the three communities (of La Ronge, Air Ronge and the Lac La Ronge Indian Band) was also seen very positively. So I think overall there’s been a very positive outcome from a fire experience,” she says.


Kulig’s team plans to release more information about their findings early in the new year.