An unusually dry spring in BC has caused firefighting costs to nearly double in comparison to the same period last year, with the BC forest service reporting 368 wildfires between April 1 and May 30 compared to 280 in 2008.

The problem isn’t cheap: fighting the fires has cost the province $5.93 million fighting them so far, compared to $3.29 million for the same period last year.

Former 100 Mile House Mayor Donna Barnett attended ACT’s Biodiversity conference in the spring of 2008, and presented on the hazards that trees killed by the Mountain Pine Beetle pose to communities like 100 Mile House, including vulnerability to wildfire.

The ripple effects of this climate change-forced, devastating infestation are being strongly felt through issues such as disruption of the forestry industry, and the increased risk of wildfire due to changing precipitation patterns and higher temperatures combining to cause tinderbox conditions.

ACT publishes its second set of policy recommendations – on Extreme Weather – in September 2009.