UBC Okanagan prof involved in dire warning from wildfires


A professor at UBC Okanagan is among a group warning of the threats posed by wildires.

Mathieu Bourbonnais is an assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences at the university who predicts devastating wildfires such as those currently burning in B.C. and elsewhere in the country will be commonplace by 2050.

The team of scientists releasing the paper are from British Columbia, the United States and Spain. 

They say Western Canada must address the threats posed by highly destructive wildfires or face deadly consequences.

The group predicts billions of dollars in suppression and indirect fire costs as well as hundreds or thousands of premature deaths due to exposure to wildfire smoke if climate change and fire causes are not resolved.

Bourbonnais knows first hand what type of damage forest fires can do. He spent six years as a wildland firefighter, which includes men and women rappeling out of helicopters to fight wildfires in remote areas.