Premier John Horgan speaks to workers as he tours the Provincial Regional Emergency Operations Centre in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, 28 August 2017. Photo: Jonathan Hayward / THE CANADIAN PRESS

KAMLOOPS, B.C., 28 August 2017 (The Canadian Press) – British Columbia's premier spent Monday touring some communities affected by this year's unprecedented wildfire season, promising financial assistance but cautioning it will take more than cheques to help with the recovery.

John Horgan said it will take years for ranchers, tourism operators and communities to recover from the wildfires as he reassured residents that financial assistance is part of the rebuilding process.

"That always is the place you start. You want to make sure the resources are there, the dollars are there to make a difference," Horgan said in Kamloops.

Horgan travelled to several communities in the Interior with Forests Minister Doug Donaldson, looking for first-hand information from firefighters and residents. […]

Kevin Skrepnek with the BC Wildfire Service said 138 wildfires were burning across the province Monday, adding to the season's total of 1,127 fires since April 1.

Just over 10,600 square kilometres [4093 square miles] of timber, brush, and grassland have been destroyed across the province this year, which Skrepnek said is the largest area to burn in a fire season in the province's recorded history. The province has spent more than $404 million fighting wildfires.

Based on a forecast of persistent hot and dry weather across southern B.C., the fire season could stretch into the fall, he said.

"Even if we get a good amount of rain over the southern part of the province, there's still going to be a tremendous amount of work to do getting these fires mopped up and extinguished," Skrepnek said. [more]

B.C. premier, forests minister tour wildfire-affected regions



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