B.C. Bracing for Expensive Wildfire Season
Prince George, B.C. – The provincial government is burning through this year’s wildfire budget.
The government has set aside $63 million for the current fire season but as of yesterday it has already spent over half that – $37,836,773.
To date, that figure is the highest it’s been the past 10 years. At this time last year for instance, the government had spent just over $26,650,000 and that included efforts put into fighting the massive Little Bobtail Lake fire near Norman Lake.
To put the money spent into perspective, fire information officer Ryan Turcot says the 10-year average as of May 27th is $9,889,464 though he notes it’s not necessarily a sign of things to come.
“Certainly it’s fair to say this wildfire season started much earlier and more aggressively than what would be considered average, at least based on a 10-year average.
“With that being said, it is still a little bit too early to say for sure what will come the rest of the wildfire season. A better indication will be the amount of precipitation we see in early June.”
Wildfire Season Costs as of May 27 the Past 10 Years
And if forest fires continue to rage all summer, he says the government won’t hesitate to spend more.
“The initial allocation this year is $63 million but we do have statutory authorization to draw more money from the contingency fund and the BC Wildfire Service will spend whatever is necessary to protect people and property this year.”