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BC wildfire review complete, recommendations to be implemented

Last Updated May 5, 2018 at 12:55 pm PST

File Photo. (Source: BC Wildfire Service via Twitter)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The warmer months are quickly approaching, but before we look to dealing with wildfires BC’s premier says the province needs to make sure it’s prepared for the flood season right now.

John Horgan says he’s received a report put together by former cabinet minister George Abbott that makes 100 recommendations on how to better prepare for natural disasters — but he hasn’t had a chance to review it yet.

“I have every confidence that they have built on other reports that have sat idle, quite frankly, over the past number of years,” he told reporters. “And as we look to the fire season ahead, we want to be as prepared as we possibly can be.”

The report has more than 100 recommendations on how to better prepare for both floods and wildfires. He plans to implement a number of these recommendations.

“In the 10 months since we’ve formed a government we faced an unprecedented fire season last year. I’m confident that minister Abbott, or former minister Abbott and Maureen Chapman have put together a report that will meet our needs.”

Horgan says last year’s wildfire season was more horrific than in 2003, and it serves as a reminder of what can happen if the province doesn’t act upon the recommendations.

In putting together the document, Abbott found many people thought a lot of information on social media was wrong. Meantime, he aslo remarked others like farmers and ranchers felt they had skills and equipment that could have helped fire crews, but weren’t asked.

The 2017 wildfire season was officially the worst in BC’s history. A state of emergency was called and implemented for just more than two months as tens of thousands of people were displaced.