B.C. Forests Minister says extra staff brought on to process overdue wildfire bills

By The Canadian Press
September 27, 2017 - 2:22pm

KAMLOOPS — Forests Minister Doug Donaldson says British Columbia is working quickly to reimburse contractors and businesses that contributed goods or services during this summer’s severe fire season.

Complaints about unpaid bills surfaced from a restaurant in Kamloops that honoured food vouchers issued by aid agencies to hungry families displaced by the fires.

Some businesses in the central Interior also said they had contributed equipment or expertise to the fire fight but were still waiting to be paid by the province.

Donaldson says the province is thankful private contractors and businesses stepped up and as soon as he learned of the reimbursement problems, more than 1,000 invoices were processed in a single weekend.

He says 50 additional staff members were assigned to ensure the backlog of unpaid bills is addressed.

Statistics from the BC Wildfire Service show 1,282 fires have burned about 12,000 square kilometres of land since the fire season began April 1, with more than 45,000 people forced from their homes at the height of the fires. (CHNL)

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