B.C. wild fires shorten P.E.I. organic farm inspector's work
Elizabeth Dacombe able to visit some farms in other areas
An organic farm inspector from P.E.I. will head back home with some of her work unfinished, after the B.C. wildfires forced the cancellation of some of her farm visits.
"I got the first email when I had passed through security sitting in Charlottetown from the first rancher who said, 'I'm trying to save my ranch, you better postpone,'" said Elizabeth Dacombe, an organic farm and processing inspector from Flat River, P.E.I.
"Having your organic farm inspection is way down on the list of priorities when you're trying to look after your own place."
Dacombe decided to continue with the trip but the cancellations kept coming.
"The people that are in the midst of it, those are very big ranches and they've all emailed and said to me, you can't even get to many of the sites, we can't get in to see the cattle," she explained.
"If I can't get to where I'm supposed to see then there is no point going and it's also dangerous."
Dacombe usually works for organic certifying bodies in the Maritimes, but was excited to have landed this contract to do inspections in the Prince George area of B.C.
Some work completed
She has been able to complete a few days of work in the areas where it is safe to travel.
"A couple of days ago it was quite smoky," she said. "But today it's not bad, it's way worse south of here, hours south of here."
When she wraps up her work, Dacombe will head north to Whitehorse to visit family there, which was her original motivation for getting the B.C. inspection contracts in the first place.
"They're going to have to get another inspector in, I can't come back and do them unfortunately," she said.
Dacombe said the silver lining is she will be travelling to Yukon earlier to visit her daughter, son-in-law and grandson.
Ironically, her son-in-law is in charge of doing communications for Yukon wild fires.
"There's a lot of fires in Yukon too," said Dacombe. "So he's very busy right now also dealing with Yukon fires."
Despite the experience this season, Dacombe would like to try it again.
"I really hope I can come back, I hope I may be able to get the contract another year," she said.
"And I have learned that I should not schedule inspections in the summer, they really have to be done in the spring or fall out here because of the fire risk."