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October 27, 2017 3:58 pm

Wildfires Burning Up Cash Too

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 @ 5:59 AM

Prince George, B.C. – While  the fire season of 2017  is on track to be the worst on record in B.C when it comes to hectares burned,(see previous story)  it may also  end up being among the most expensive.

As of yesterday,  the  costs for  fighting the fires since April 1st of this year, had hit  $309 million dollars.

BC Wildfire Service Chief Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek  says it’s too early to say what the final tally might be “Without knowing how the rest of the summer  is going to play out  as far as a weather perspective, it’s tough to know  where we are going to land in terms of costs for the Wildfire  Service specifically.”

Skrepnek says some  other  busy seasons include 2009,   which  had a total of  $382 million dollars spent,  in 2010  the costs hit $212 million ,  2014 costs  reached $297 million dollars,   and 2015 finished at $277 million.  “We are currently  on pace for a busy season, but that level of activity and total money spent will be totally commensurate to  what kind of weather we are facing  out there and what kind of conditions we need to address.”

The tallies  don’t take into account the costs incurred by all the other agencies involved  “The costs in terms of the damage that’s been done,  the costs in terms of the  societal disruption, things like that,   at this point I doubt  we are close to having those kinds of numbers  at hand yet.”


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