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PART I
The Railway Fire Situation

 

BY
CLYDE LEAVITT

Chief Fire Inspector, Board of Railway Commissioners, and
Chief Forester, Commission of Conservation

 

T T HE Board of Railway Commissioners has jurisdiction over about 85 per cent of the railway mileage of the Dominion. The outstanding feature of the railway fire situation in 1913 was the extension to eastern Canada of the fire protective organization of the Board of Railway Commissioners. Co-operative arrangements were entered into whereby certain officials of the forest fire protective organizations of Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick were appointed officers of the Fire Inspection Department of the Board. This co-operation was continued and extended during 1914. Co-operation in Nova Scotia has been delayed, pending the appointment of a provincial Forester, for which, however, provision has been made by law. Co-operation in the west, with the Dominion Forestry and Parks Branches and the British Columbia Forest Branch, was continued and extended during both years, in accordance with the policy and procedure developed in 1912.

In general, the organization has fully demonstrated that it has passed the experimental stage, and has justified its existence by a more adequate handling of the patrol, right-of-way clearing and fire-guarding features of the Board's requirements than had previously been practicable. The results secured have amply justified the efforts made, and show that the practically complete solution of the railway fire problem may be expected with the steady increase in efficiency of the inspection staff, made available under the co-operative arrangements in effect between the Board and the fire protective organizations of the Dominion and Provincial Governments, coupled with the natural increase in the efficiency of the fire protection work of the railways.

It has been shown conclusively that in a broad way the efficiency of the fire protective measures of most of the railway companies is


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