With the wildfire season already underway in British Columbia, Natural Resources Minister and Member of Parliament for North Vancouver, Jonathan Wilkinson, detailed the government’s commitment to preventing and mitigating wildfires.

Of the sum, $270 million will be used to finance equipment for firefighters, and the First Nations will directly receive $40 million in equipment.

In addition, Ottawa will invest $170 million over 11 years with the Canadian Space Agency for the GardeFeu mission, the world’s first satellite system dedicated to monitoring forest fires, Mr. Wilkinson said. It should be operational in 2028.

The government also says it wants to train 1,000 additional firefighters, and wants traditional indigenous knowledge and techniques relating to the prevention and management of fires to be integrated into strategies and systems for fighting forest fires.

First Nations in British Columbia, for example, will receive $8.4 million in 2022 through the First Nations Emergency Services Society to support emergency planning, preparedness and response in communities.

Work together

Due to climate change, the Minister of Natural Resources has warned that extreme weather events will be more intense and more frequent.

Current forecasts indicate that it will be another difficult summer for British Columbians and Canadians in generalhe said at a press briefing in Vancouver, accompanied by ministers Bill Blair and Patty Hajdu.

In light of climate change, every level of government and emergency management partners must take aggressive action to prepare for emergencies, including wildfiressaid Bill Blair, Minister of Emergency Preparedness.

Blair, who visited the village and First Nation of Lytton on Thursday, said British Columbians have really been on the front lines and have had to deal with some really tough natural disastersreferring to the floods that hit the province in 2021.

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It must be recognized that indigenous communities are the most impacted by these natural disastershe added.

We need to pull together more than ever to protect our people, our forests, our wildlife and our food supply from longer and hotter summers.said Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services.

British Columbia particularly affected

According to the federal government, $416 million has been awarded under the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements for the cost of relief operations and reconstruction costs associated with the 2021 wildfires in British Columbia, including for the village of Lytton.

During the summer of 2021, more than 800,000 hectares burned across the western province. Hundreds of firefighters were mobilized, sometimes brought in as reinforcements from elsewhere in Canada and internationally.

Bryan May, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, recalled that military personnel and resources were deployed to incandescent theaters last year, and assured that the armed forces will mobilize again if necessary.

While the province has just reformed its forest fire prevention and control service, British Columbia’s Minister of Security, Mike Farnworth, said he is clear that we all need to do more to keep our communities safe and prepared for future wildfire seasonsbefore thanking the federal government for its support.



Reference-ici.radio-canada.ca

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