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FORESTRY ON DOMINION LANDS   253

The railway companies as a whole are co-operating in good spirit, with the result that fire losses from this source have materially de-creased during the past two seasons.

Some few lines, however, in these three provinces, are not under the jurisdiction of the Board, and on that account the enactment of provincial legislation along similar lines is highly desirable, such as has been done in British Columbia and Quebec.

 

 

The Dominion lands (outside the reserves) in the Railway Belt of railway belt are organized, for fire protection pur-

British Columbia

poses, into the Revelstoke, Salmon Arm, and Coast districts. These are in charge of three chief fire rangers. one responsible to the Crown timber agent at New Westminster, the others to the district inspector of forest reserves at Kamloops. Working under the chiefs are some 50 fire rangers, en-gaged for the summer months, at $5 per day. The work consists in the enforcement of the provisions of the British Columbia Forest Act relating to fire prevention. Since these provisions are most modern, the fire ranging service is carried on under very favourable conditions. In addition, the province had a staff of ten rangers on duty in the railway belt.

The inspection in connection with the order of the Railway Board, already mentioned, is, in the railway belt, outside of Dominion parks, in charge of the district inspector of forest reserves, assisted by divisional inspectors. For the lines within the Dominion parks the inspection is in charge of the chief superintendent of Dominion parks, assisted by the superintendents of the different parks, as divisional inspectors.

To protect city property from fire there is not Provisions for only provision to extinguish promptly such fires

Slash Disposal

as may be started, but the material conditions obtaining are required to be such as will reduce the chances of a fire assuming uncontrollable proportions. The same two measures are necessary to protect forest property. The presence of a fire-fighting force, and the construction of trails, lookout stations and telephone lines, are merely measures to facilitate the rapid control of fires which start. The supplemental feature lies in the condition of the forest floor as regards inflammability. The smaller the quantity of dry material on the ground, the better is the chance of control; in addition, the fire is not so hot, and less damage is done to the trees and soil.

In all forests there is normally a certain amount of debris originating by the natural death of the trees and parts of trees. This is augmented by local windfalls. But the most dangerous component is


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