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

Seniors housing in Port Hardy moves ahead with rezoning application

North Island seniors able to “age in place” in new facility, currently getting funding and permits

Port McNeill curling club will be getting a brand new paint job, thanks to residents

‘The generosity of this community never ceases to amaze me!’

Vancouver Island grizzlies: moving in, or just passing through?

Lack of data makes seeming increase in grizzly sightings on the North Island an open question

VIDEO: A young Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

North Island students are back in class, sitting six-feet apart

School District 85 schools reopened June 1 for students who want to come in person

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Vancouver Island school principal mourns family killed during US protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read