For the week of Aug. 27, 2023:
Another long, hot, record, costly summer of wildfires around British Columbia.
In some places, like around Kelowna, firefighters got the upper hand. But more than 200 houses are gone.
The Forest Practices Board’s June report said B.C. needs to move toward landscape fire management, to co-exist with fire, but take steps to contain it. More than 96 million acres of public land are at high or extreme risk of wildfire in B.C., but only 1% of the wildland urban interface has been treated since 2018 at a cost of $72 million. Meanwhile, B.C. spends more than $200 million every year to fight fires.
On thePodcast, host Bob Mackin welcomes Conservative Party of B.C. leader John Rustad, who was a forests minister and aboriginal relations minister in the previous BC Liberal government. He said the NDP government needs to rethink the way it fights fires and rethink the way it manages forests in an era with longer, hotter, drier summers.
“I don’t want to take away from the fact that there are tens of thousands of people that have been significantly impacted by these fires, right?” Rustad said. “I mean, it’s just, it’s tragic, when you think about it. We need to make sure we get everything we can in there to support these people to get them so they can get their lives back together, to be able to rebuild. But long term, yes, we need to think about changing how we manage on the landscape.”
Plus Pacific Rim and Pacific Northwest headlines.
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