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BC Increases Firefighting Budget by 58%

Stock photo via Unsplash

The B.C. government has released its updated action plan in response to the government-commissioned, independent Abbott/Chapman report on the unprecedented 2017 wildfire and flood seasons in British Columbia.

The initial action plan was released October 2018, with a commitment to provide updates over six-month intervals until October 2020. The update details action taken on the 108 recommendations from Chief Maureen Chapman and George Abbott’s report, Addressing the New Normal: 21st Century Disaster Management in British Columbia.

The B.C. government’s emergency management efforts also consider other recent reports, such as the auditor general’s report, Managing Climate Change Risks, and the federal House of Commons June 2018 report, From the Ashes: Reimagining Fire Safety and Emergency Management in Indigenous Communities.

Since October, work has been completed on 14 additional recommendations, with substantial work completed on another 20. Key updates since October 2018 include:

  • Increasing wildfire management funding by 58% (from $64 million to $101 million). This increased funding is supporting additional Type 2 contract firefighters, improved integration in aviation and increased use of technology.
  • Modernizing emergency support services to decrease the time it takes to receive services, while ensuring the protection of personal data. Enhancements will be piloted in up to four communities during the 2019 wildfire season. Results from the pilot will inform broader rollout.
  • Improved communication and co-ordination processes with all partners.

To read the action plan, progress update and the Abbott/Chapman report, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/emergency-management-bc

For information on wildfire prevention, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/FireSmart

For information on how to prepare for an emergency, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/PreparedBC