Smoke near Ashcroft during the 2017 BC wildfire season
The BC government is creating a team to review the summer’s unprecedented wildfire a flood seasons.
Premier John Horgan has announced former Liberal MLA George Abbott and Hereditary Chief Maureen Chapman to lead the panel in finding solutions to avoid the risk more land loss.
He believes Abbott’s past experience in dealing with the 2003 wildfire season in the Okanagan will help in a big way.
“He has relationships as a member for Shuswap, and strong relationships with interior mayors and councils. I think this speaks to how the new government wants to ensure that we are seamless in our approach on the land-based initiatives; there’s not a hierarchy, they’re equal, and I believe that’s a significant change in and of itself.”
He says he’s confident the two chairs can find practical ideas to improve response systems, procedures, and processes.
As of November 30th, more than $564 million in fire suppression efforts has been calculated since April 1st, and an estimated $400 million in the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA), the largest in BC history.
During this morning’s news conference in Victoria, Horgan stressed an importance to update daily services people depend on across Northern BC and the Central Interior.
“What we want to do is to make sure that we are modernizing our processes so that we can do better next year, and the year after that, and the year after that. I wouldn’t have asked these people, nor would they have accepted the job, if they felt that this was going to be a report that gather dust in the Parliamentary Library.”
He adds this is already on top of several other surveys being conducted in the respective regions.
The review panel’s deadline for recommendations is set for April 30th, 2018, just before the next possible wildfire season begins.