Fuel for the fire?

With the Campbell administration having once again blown its forest fire fighting budget, the minister responsible Pat Bell has said he'd do a "careful analysis" of how the government plans for those blazes. But Minister Bell and his bureaucrats aren't the only ones who will be examining the issue. British Columbia's independent forest practices watchdog is reviewing the government's province-wide efforts to remove the hazardous materials that can increase the chances or severity of forest fires - for example, debris on the forest floor or dense forest canopies.

The interviews and field work for that review were completed in July, with a report scheduled for release later this year. The New Democrats have accused the government for not having done enough to prepare for this season's wildfires, which have cost taxpayers almost $300 million as of Sunday - significantly more than $62 million forecasted in February's budget.
It's the sixth time since 2002/03 that the government has busted its forest fire forecast.

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