The rash of wildfires in the Peace has the Premier preaching fire safety earlier than ever.
Christy Clark was in Prince George today and visited the BC Wildfire Branch. She said this might be the worst start to the fire season in almost 30 years.
“This is the new reality in British Columbia and we need to continue to make more investments in fighting fires.” noting that they have already mobilized two air tanker groups and that more will be coming online May 2nd.
The province spent $373 million in 2015 fighting forest fires, blowing it’s $63 million budget out of the water. BC allotted $63 million to fight fires again this year, Clark saying that they run on a 5-10 year average when budgeting for wildfires. The province has blown it’s wildfire budget for 9 of the past 10 years.
“If you are guessing that the budget is going to continue to grow up, I think your guess is right. The world is getting drier, forest fire season is starting earlier and it’s getting more expensive.”
The Premier pointed to new penalties brought in this year that she hopes will help deter people from being careless in the woods. She added that something as innocent as an idling car on a hot day could spark a blaze.
The BC Wildfire Service says there are 95 active fires around the province right now.