The Elephant Hill wildfire was one of several this summer that contributed to the worst fire season ever recorded in B.C. (KTW file photo).

Inmates play vital role in managing B.C.’s worst-ever wildfire season

Prisoners from Maple Ridge, Nanaimo and Prince George helped out

As British Columbia’s worst-ever wildfire season winds down, provincial inmates are being recognized for their help in the supporting the fire-fighting effort.

The Ministry of Public Safety says inmates from four correctional centres were instrumental in helping crews on the fire lines.

Inmates from jails in Maple Ridge and Prince George managed camp inventory and took part in setting up and dismantling base camps, while a crew from the Ford Mountain facility in Chilliwack inspected, tested and repaired tools, such as axes and shovels.

VIDEO: Kestrel chicks released into wild a happy ending to wildfire season

A ministry news release says crews from Nanaimo Correctional Centre repaired, cleaned and dried thousands of fire hoses, resulting in savings amounting to tens of thousands of dollars.

Inmates assigned to a crew have open-custody status, which means they can be trusted to work in the community under supervision.

In addition to significant cost savings, the ministry says the programs give participants meaningful, rewarding work experience.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says eligible provincial inmates understand the program because most come from B.C. communities and will return there when released, but he says the interest was especially high this year.

“Even more inmates than in past years rose to the challenge and gave all they could to help British Columbians during the provincial state of emergency. My thanks to both correctional centre staff and the inmate crews for their contributions during this very challenging fire season.”

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Community support keeps girls hockey alive on the North Island

“A successful program depends on community engagement and support.”

One person dead in logging truck collision

“The logging truck was stopped for other traffic, and it was rear-ended by a passenger car.”

#MeToo at work: B.C. women share horrifyingly common sexual assaults

It happens to more people than you might think and impacts women inside and outside of the workplace

Art Studio nights provides free space to make art

“It’s all ages and its open to everybody.”

PHSS donates to the Hamper Fund

Student council collected over 200 food items

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Debt-to-household-income ratio rises in third quarter

Total household credit market debt grew to $2.11 trillion in the third quarter

B.C. Mountie told to resign after texting teenage sex assault victim

RCMP documents say Const. Brian Eden sent sexually inappropriate photos to 17-year-old girl

Family doctors should learn to treat addiction, not shun patients: scientist

B.C. Centre on Substance Use’s Dr. Evan Wood said efforts underway to change addiction medicine image

Bantam house league tournament at Chilton Regional Arena

There was a Bantam house league tournament held all weekend at the… Continue reading

Atoms fall to Racquet Club at Doug Bondue Arena

The North Island Atom Eagles went to battle with the Victoria Racquet… Continue reading

INTERACTIVE MAP: Follow the 2017 Tour de Rock

Follow the Tour de Rock, as they pedal more than 1,000 kilometres fundraising to combat paediatric cancer

NISS dominates basketball, PHSS handles indoor soccer

North Island Secondary School (NISS) students travelled to Port Hardy on Thursday… Continue reading

Four dog deaths investigated in Cranbrook

One vet suggests a parallel to these deaths and similar ones in 2016

Most Read