Kamloops mayor says some residents oppose planned wildfire monument | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops mayor says some residents oppose planned wildfire monument

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
November 23, 2017 - 4:30 PM

KAMLOOPS, B.C. - Questions are being raised in the city of Kamloops over the issue of a monument honouring volunteers who helped thousands of people forced from their homes during last summer's severe wildfire season.

Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian says residents have been speaking out since the Thompson-Nicola Regional District announced last week that $100,000 will be set aside in the 2018 budget to commemorate the efforts of volunteers.

Christian says he has also talked to several volunteers who told him they helped because it was the right thing to do, not because they expected any recognition.

The mayor says many recalled a shortage of computers to process the evacuees and there have been suggestions that the funds could be better spent on computers or other upgrades to emergency services.

In its announcement, the regional district says it hopes the monument can be designed and completed in time for National Volunteer Week in April 2018.

Regional District officials estimate more than 150,000 hours were volunteered within the region to support the thousands forced from their homes by several massive wildfires that were sparked in early July and burned for more than two months.

The district says it hopes the monument will act as an inspiration to others to consider volunteerism.

"A part of the display being considered is space for plaques to be added, recognizing future events and volunteers' contributions to them," the district says in its release.

The BC Wildfire Service estimates more than 12,000 square kilometres of timber and bush was burned across B.C. during the 2017 wildfire season.

A decision for a monument builds on a similar memorial erected in Kamloops after devastating wildfires in 2003 ripped through the North Thompson communities of McClure, Barriere and Louis Creek, destroying or damaging 72 homes.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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