Dr. Chelsea Pelletier, a UNBC health sciences researcher, and her team will spend the next year studying what is known about the health impacts of occupational exposure to wildfires that B.C. wildland firefighters and related personnel face on the job.
Researchers at the University of Northern British Columbia will spend the next year studying what is known about the health impacts of occupational exposure to wildfires that B.C. wildland firefighters and related personnel face on the job.
Dr. Chelsea Pelletier, an assistant professor at UNBC’s School of Health Sciences, is leading the research project.
She and her team are seeking to understand the health outcomes for the firefighters and related personnel by examining previous literature and talking to key stakeholders. They will also identify mitigation strategies or policies implemented to reduce negative health impacts.
“This project is important because it establishes a partnership between UNBC and the BC Wildfire Service,” explains Dr. Pelletier. “We are hoping to help the BCWS develop a program of research that reflects the priorities of key stakeholders, most importantly wildfire fighters themselves so that we can better understand the health risk and mitigation strategies.”
Once complete, the results, combined with previous research, will support the development of a collaborative strategic research plan for the BC Wildfire Service, which is funding the project for $125,000 through Canada Wildfire, the Canadian Partnership for Wildland Fire Science, with additional support from the Health Research Institute and the newly created Knowledge Synthesis Centre at UNBC.