'Disastrous fire season'

Alanna Kelly

Premier John Horgan said British Columbians can take comfort that emergency personnel are doing everything in their power to address the absolutely disastrous fire season that has unfolded.

But, he did warn that “it’s still August, it’s still very, very hot and no end in sight.”

Horgan and Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, spent all of Monday flying to multiple locations to visit the areas most affected by the fires but also the people.

The day started in Kamloops. They then flew to Cache Creek and on to Boston Flats and ended with a fly-by tour of the Philpott wildfire in Joe Rich.

“It’s an opportunity to be up talking to emergency personal knowing they have our full support but also speaking to people who were evacuated and lost their homes,” he said.

“We always think of these crises as someone else's problem… but I want to make sure I am talking to the people affected so that they know we’ve got their back, not just today, but in the days, weeks and months ahead as they start to rebuild their lives."

Horgan said this has been the worst fire season in living memory.

“If you’re smokers, for goodness sake don’t be flicking your butts out the window or we are going to come down hard on you. For others, be vigilant out there when you are in the back country if you see the starting of a fire do everything you can to put it out, call emergency numbers to make sure personnel know about it,” he said.

Emergency BC personnel have been fighting 1,123 wildfires since April 1 burning about 8,944 square kilometres, breaking the previous record of 8,550 square kilometres, set in 1958.

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