QUESNEL (August 13, 2018) Following a formal written request over the weekend from central northern region MLAs, public safety minister Mike Farnworth is now requesting federal assistance to cope with the spread of wildfires throughout the province. On Saturday a group of MLAs wrote directly to Farnworth requesting help from the federal government asking the province to step up resources to make firefighting efforts more effective.
“Currently there are nearly 600 wildfires scattered through the province and we continue to experience extremely dry conditions. Consequently this has spread thin our firefighting personnel and equipment to many different regions,” said MLA Oakes. “We just had temporary weather relief in some parts of the Cariboo, which is the perfect time to put a fire out, but as soon as one area seems under control, existing resources are being pulled to other areas by necessity. We therefore welcome public safety minister Mike Farnworth’s decision to accede to our request for federal resources to fight wildfires more effectively.”
“We learned from the 2017 fire season that public safety must be our first priority,” said MLA Barnett. “We are certainly grateful for the work currently being done by firefighters and support staff, including private contractors, but we need to act on the lessons learned from last year and move quickly before any one situation gets out of hand. Thankfully residents are watching out for each other and are better prepared than last year. With federal help, we will be in a better position to protect the safety of our constituents, dedicated firefighters and first responders.”
“The exchange of correspondence over the weekend provided the necessary basis for today’s request from the minister,” MLAs Oakes and Barnett added. “We are deeply grateful for our professional men and women who put themselves in harm’s way to fight the wildfires and to protect our homes and communities.”