BC’s beleaguered fish stocks could be facing yet another threat this time from fire retardant.
With the record fire season still raging huge quantities of the fire suppressant slurry, known to harm aquatic life, are being dumped across the province.
“We’ve been applying a lot of fire retardant this year. And when you apply fire retardant from the air you have to be exremely careful around streams, because the slurry that’s used can potentially be toxic to fish.”
But fish and rivers expert Mark Angelo says while the risk is real the situation is much better than it would have been a decade ago.
“We have better regulation now around retardant drops, and that helps to ensure that we generally stay away from waterways. Fire retardant manufacturers have cut the amount of ammonium by half in recent years, and I think that’s positive, and finally, B-C invested in a fleet of water skimmer aircraft last year to fight fires.”
But Angelo warns it’s particularly important crews are careful where they make drops this year because of the large amount of retardant in play and the current stress on fish stocks.