This June, British Columbia invested $359 million for future wildfire protection, with $1.2 million invested in burn projects. According to the province, it supports cultural burning which is prescribed by the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act Action Plan (UNDRIP). Many fire ecologists say the support is falling short and usually fizzles out because of approval delays.
Throughout the past, Indigenous-led burns can help tame wildfires and rekindle ancient land “cleanse”. A small movement called Interior Salish Firekeeper Society with close to 20 members have been reigniting this ancient practice. It was once outlawed during colonization but is now seen as a viable option for taming wildfires.
In the past B.C. would deliberately burn hundreds of thousands of hectares each year. Now, fewer than 10,000 hectares of land is set on fire for community protection. This year, a total of 9,100 hectares of planned burning was tracked but the number is less because not all of it burned.
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