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

‘Snowmaggedon 2020’ has passed, but 20-30 milimetres of rain expected Friday

Residents should brace for rain and clear drains to prevent localized flooding

What happens in the Cowichan Valley when an earthquake strikes

When an earthquake does happen, will the Cowichan Valley be ready for it?

Exploring life, the afterlife, and near death experiences with Dr. Lynn Echevarria

Echevarria will deliver a talk to the LRCA Seniors Centre Tuesday, January 21 at 1:30 pm

Winter storm warning now in effect for Island’s east coast

Environment Canada issues new weather warning late Wednesday afternoon

Town of Ladysmith snow removal crews prepared to respond to overnight snowfall

10 to 15 centimetres of snow are expected for Ladysmith overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning

How to beat Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year

Multiple factors can play a role in seasonal depression, says Fraser Health psychiatrist

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in lingerie store

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

Most Read