BC Forests Minister Steve Thomson says the province has spent $80-million fighting forest fires so far this season –one that’s kicked into high gear much earlier than in years past.
As calls mount for the famed Martin Mars bombers to be utilized, he says talks are underway with the owners.
“Knowing the extraordinary situation we are in, we need to look at having all the tools in the toolbox that we might need, so those discussions are continuing.”
That said, Thomson says the province doesn’t feel the bombers are the most effective tool for fighting these types of fires.
“It is old. We need to look at how it could be utilized, if it is to be utilized, on an as-needed basis, but there are lots of challenges with that resource; it’s not the most cost-effective, and can only be used in very very strategic situations.”
As for people breaking campfire bans or being careless, Thomson says some penalties are in place, but catching the culprits is not easy.