Reflective discussion about 2017 wildfires to take place Sunday evening

By Jill Sperling
January 28, 2018 - 9:44am

KAMLOOPS — Those who were impacted by last summer's intense wildfires have a chance to reflect Sunday night in Kamloops. 

A gathering titled After the Fires: A Kamloops World Cafe about the 2017 BC Wildfires is scheduled to take place at 6:30 p.m. at St. Paul's Cathedral. 

Dan Hines is one of the organizers of this event, and says participants will discuss their experiences in small groups around tables.

"I think there's a need for this type of a format, where it's really done at the table level and people are mostly listening to one another and engaging in kind of a lively conversation," Hines said. "I think there's a wisdom that derives from a group when it happens from the bottom up, as opposed to from the top down. I think we want this information in this meeting primarily to be for those who are present, and for the experience to be able to process what happened this last summer." 

The evening will begin with a video presentation by Chris Harris, a nature and landscape photography from the 100 Mile House area, who was evacuated last summer. 

Following the presentation table discussions will begin. 

"There's three questions that we're going to be dealing with," Hines said. "The first question is just what happened to you this summer? What was your experience? And everyone at the table will have a chance to talk directly about their experience. The second question is why did it happen the way it did? What were some of the causes behind it? Why was this summer so significant? ... And the third question is where do we go from here? What does the future hold? What actions do we need to put in place?"

Hines says the free event has been full for about a week and a half. 

Many of the participants were directly affected by the summer's wildfires. 

"There's a few folks that are coming that were directly evacuated," Hines said. "There's some people that were working on fire crews, were actually fighting the fires. There's quite a few people coming that worked with evacuees this summer in Kamloops, volunteering. I'd say it's largely a Kamloops group that's coming. We really did want it to be about Kamloops. We know these conversations are happening in other communities as well."

Mayor hoping RCMP find ideal candidate to replace Kamloops' top cop