The government of British Columbia intends to move to a year-round workforce for the Wildfire Service in the next fiscal year that begins April 1. In a February 22 presentation Minister of Finance Selina Robinson said, “$145 million in new funding will strengthen B.C.’s emergency management and wildfire services. The BC Wildfire Service will shift from a reactive to a proactive approach by moving to a year-round workforce that will deliver all pillars of emergency management: prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.”
The BC Wildfire Service employs approximately 1,000 wildland firefighters each year.
The new budget will allow improvements of the public alerting system for wildfires and help support people and communities during climate-related events.
An additional $98 million will fund wildfire prevention work and maintain forest service roads used to respond to forest fires.
The budget also includes $210 million to support community climate change preparedness and emergency management, including through the FireSmart program, the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, and Indigenous-led emergency management priorities. It will support communities and First Nations to build more resilient dikes and map floodplains.