BC’s Forests minister says he is very concerned as hot dry weather turns the province into a tinder box.
Steve Thomson says firefighters are working hard on the ground to save homes in Hudsons Hope and elsewhere.
“When the evacuation orders get put in place there is a whole structure and system in place that supports that through Emergency Management BC. Opening of emergency centres and support that is put in place. So this is cross ministry with emergency management of local governments. There are protocols and systems in place. Everybody on the ground is working to respond to the situation.”
Thomson says this is the busiest start to a wildfire season he has seen as minister.
“Very concerned. We have got all of our resources dedicated to responding to them working across ministries but the combination of weather and the current situtation is creating a situation that is obviously a lot of concern but we have got great professionals on the ground who are responding.”
He says this years wildfire budget is 63-million-dollars.
“We have spent a fair amount of the budget. We are coming up against the allocated budget. It is an earlier start normally this is the kind of activity we might be seeing in the first part of August or something like that.”
The province can access discretionary funds once the budget is used up.
Last year the province spent 122-million-dollars fighting wildfires.