The B.C. Wildfire Centre’s 2019 Blackwater Unit Crew, based out of Quesnel. Facebook/Eric Depeneau photo

Universities in B.C. and Alberta to study mental and physical health of wildfire crews

University of Nortern B.C. and University of Alberta get funding from BC Wildfire Service

Researchers at two universities – one in B.C. and one in Alberta – are studying the mental health effects of fighting wildfires.

On Tuesday, the B.C. government announced that the B.C. Wildfire Service has provided $305,000 to help fund research projects at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George and the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

Dr. Chelsea Pelletier, the project’s leader and an assistant professor at UNBC’s School of Health Sciences, said much less research is done on wildland firefighters compared to other first responders.

“Wildland firefighters work really hard – especially over the past few summers, we’ve seen that very much in northern B.C. – so we kind of owe it to them to more better understand what health risks are associated with that,” she said.

The project will look at the existing body of research and knowledge, identify any gaps in that knowledge, and identify any improvements from around the world that could be implemented right away in B.C.

The team will also interview employees of the BC Wildfire Service and wildland firefighters themselves to see what they feel is important for their mental health.

The final report, expected next summer, will help BC Wildfire establish a long-term research strategy for worker health, the province said.

READ MORE: B.C. to overhaul emergency procedures for wildfires, floods



editor@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Dr. Chelsea Pelletier, an assistant professor at the University of Northern British Columbia’s School of Health Sciences, is leading a research project looking into the health impacts of wildland firefighting. Photo submitted

Just Posted

Drivesmart column: Are slow drivers breaking the law?

When I am behind a driver that is going slower it bothers me.

WildWings Festival pandemic edition coming to Cowichan in October

Three outdoor events, two reception-free art shows, and one small indoor workshop.

Jr. B season could start Oct. 1, says VIJHL president

League awaiting final approval from local health authorities and viaSport

Flashback: Trips around the lake, to Japan, and on a dangerous highway

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson has been combing through old… Continue reading

Cowichan’s 49ers just miss fourth Grover Cup

Since the 49ers were founded, the team had never lost a Tony Grover Cup final

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Most Read