Forest Fire – a Burning Issue


    In a recent DataPath Systems Yukon Poll, 30% of Yukoners rated the threat of forest fire in their community as an extreme concern.  As would be expected, this was much more of an issue outside of Whitehorse.  In the rural communities, 41% consider this to be of extreme concern, while that drops to 25% within Whitehorse. 

    In this survey, the threat of forest fire was a greater concern than the decreasing Yukon population, the wetter summers, or the warmer winters occurring here.  The declining Yukon population was a high concern to 26% of the population while the wet summers concern 23% and the warming winters concern only 17%.

    However if you include those feeling somewhat concerned on these issues, the warming winters becomes of most concern (48%) while the other three are each approximately 45%.

    Difference across groups show women and those employed in the private sector are more concerned with the decrease in the population than either men or government employees.  32% of women are very concerned about the population while only 22% of men are.  31% of non-government employees are concerned on this issue, compared to 23% of government workers.  “This might be expected.”  Said Donna Larsen of DataPath Systems.  “This may indicate that business is more concerned since their business is likely to depend on retail or wholesales sales.”

    Other differences show the younger a person is the more concerned they are about forest fires.  Among those under 35, 34% are very concerned, this drops to 29% for those 36 – 49, and to 25% for those over the age of 50.  At the same time, concern over warmer weather in the Yukon drops with the length of time one has lived here.  Long time Yukoners  (here over 24 years), are less concerned with warmer weather.  In fact, 23% of those residents are not at all concerned about it and only 11% are very concerned.  “Perhaps they are just ready for warmer weather” commented Donna.

Those who have lived here less than 10 years are twice as more often concerned (22%).


The survey was conducted by DataPath Systems; an independent Yukon-based market research company. Telephone surveys were conducted with 150 Whitehorse residents and 150 non-Whitehorse residents between February 14 and 21/2001. The data is weighted to accurately represent Yukoners based on the community they live in, their age and gender. Percentages are statistically valid to +/- 5.5%, 19 times out of 20 (95% confidence). This was a non-commissioned study, paid for by DataPath Systems.