Earlier, we reported the provincial government has blown it's direct forest fire fighting budget for five of the past seven fiscal years. So, with the fire season now hitting the front page of newspapers across British Columbia, how close is the government to blowing it's budget this year? Well, in February, the administration projected it would spend $62 million on such expenses in 2009/10 - $46 million less than the average amount spent on forest fire fighting over the past ten fiscal years. And, as of yesterday, the ministry of forests and range reports the government has paid out $52.5 million of that amount. Although, once again, the government stressed it is "always prepared to spend what's necessary to protect the public."
July 21, 2009