Northern Fire Caches Hit Hard by Budget Cuts

Friday, April 02, 2004 at 14:22



Northern leaders are upset that part of the job cuts within Saskatchewan Environment announced in this week’s budget will affect department offices and fire caches throughout northern Saskatchewan.


Six fire caches in the North will be closed down as part of the provincial government’s reorganization of its wildfire management program.


The province says the department will “allow fire to play a more natural role in the forest”, and acknowledges there will be a downsizing of some ground fire fighting capacity.


New North chair Dale McAuley says northern communities need those jobs and wishes northern leaders had been consulted about this move.


McAuley believes traditional land users will lose out if some fires are allowed to burn.


Ile-a-la-Crosse mayor Max Morin says his community will be directly affected, and wonders how well the valuable timber around his community will be protected.


The province also announced that its base budget for forest fire suppression will increase from 37 million dollars to 65 million.