A burning hole in the budget?

On Thursday, the Forest Practices Board warned catastrophic wildfires may now be the norm for British Columbia. But, if that happens, those fires won't just threaten homes and businesses. They'll also threaten the government's bottom-line.

Let me explain: catastrophic wildfires of the kind we saw in the 2009 could cost the province more than $400 million. But, unless its budget plans change, the province will only be setting aside $52 million to fight such fires in the coming fiscal year.

The government could deal with part of that shortfall by dipping into its $300 million contingency fund. But that still leaves almost $60 million unaccounted for. So where will that money come from?

I don't know the answer to that question. But I can tell you this: I'd like one before British Columbia begins burning.

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