President's Message - July 2019

This early spring has caused some crazy wildfires here in Alberta. We have lost thousands of acres of woodland, thousands of families have been displaced, and a number of houses destroyed. Please keep all of our First Responders and their families in your prayers. There will be lots of files open with all of the properties that were lost and lots of investigations, so everyone please stay safe when Investigating these files as there are dangers we need to keep in mind. Our health is the main one so respirators need to be worn, as well as Tyvek suits to protect us from dangerous chemicals and drugs that are in these houses.

We are focusing our Journal on large loss fires and how the investigations are handled. Having been involved in several of these over the past few years, our investigations are different than a single family dwelling. We are trying to highlight these differences and bring to light how our training and experience has to come into play. Sometimes what we think may be the origin is different to what actually happened, as there are so many families that are living in these buildings, or the large commercial spaces that have lots of employees and cargo inside.

Large loss fires take a lot of time to process and lots of evidence to review, including the hundreds of photographs, interviews to conduct, and the collection of security videos from the community, as well as weather patterns, and many more items to include.

With Canada being so vast and so many weather patterns happening, we will see a wild summer of activity and lots of BBQ’s and back yard fires that everyone enjoys. Lots of people enjoying open water and beaches and family camping. Please be safe as you all travel, and please take some time for your families to build memories of this great land of ours.

Thank you.

David Slipp, NCCP
President, Canadian Association of Fire Investigators