British Columbia Premier John Horgan says he will lobby Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to deploy Canada’s military to help prevent wildfires.
Trudeau and Horgan are meeting later today with local and First Nations leaders to discuss the recent wildfire devastation of the Fraser Canyon village of Lytton and the ongoing extreme fire situation across the province.
Horgan says B.C. is experienced and accustomed to dealing with wildfires during the summer months, but massive, destructive fires over the past five years now demand governments look at new approaches to prevent and fight fires.
During a news conference with Trudeau today about child-care funding, Horgan said the military could be called upon to serve in a fire prevention role by clearing forest debris to reduce fuel before fires start.
Trudeau says the federal government’s primary concerns are currently focused on supporting the residents of Lytton, but future methods of fire prevention must be considered.
There are more than 200 active fires burning across the province, of which 15 are classified as highly visible or potentially threatening, including the blaze that destroyed Lytton last week and a 392-square-kilometre fire northwest of Kamloops.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 8, 2021.