KAMLOOPS — The first public meeting for the BC Flood and Wildfire Review is taking place Monday evening at Colombo Lodge in Kamloops.
Former Shuswap MLA George Abbott and Skawahlook First Nation Hereditary Chief Maureen Chapman are the co-chairs of the review panel and are holding open houses in communities throughout the province that were affected by the devastating 2017 fire and flood season. Abbot says the meetings will help the province learn how to improve their response in future situations like the ones we experienced this past year.
“Both from a flood perspective and a fire perspective, 2017 was an extraordinarily difficult year,” Abbott told CFJC Today. “Hundreds of millions of dollars expended on trying to manage the fires and the floods through that period. The provincial government believes, and I think they’re right, there’s much to be learned.”
The meeting in Kamloops will run from 2:00 pm until 8:00 pm Monday evening. Tuesday the review panel will meet residents in Cache Creek, a community that devastated by both flooding and fires in 2017.
Abbott says these meetings are important because of the increased potential for more fires and flooding as a result of climate change around the province.
“Everything we know about the climate, of patterns of extreme weather, point to likely the incidence of this again,” Abbott said. “2017, in short, is not going to be one-off. We’re probably going to have challenging fire seasons again and we need to try and find some ways to respond better, more effectively to those incidents when they occur.”
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