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Premiers call for national wildfire plan

July 17, 2015, St. John's - Saying this year's wildfires may be the new normal, the premiers of British Columbia and Saskatchewan are calling for a national approach to fighting forest fires.

July 17, 2015
By The Canadian Press

Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall is calling for a partnership between the provinces and the federal government to ensure firefighting equipment is available where it is needed.

Wall — who says he is grateful for the help his province received from across the country to fight the fires — says training for military personnel on fighting fires also needs to be looked at.

B.C.’s Christy Clark says a national plan is needed because climate change means long hot burning summers are not going to be the exception in western Canada.

Clark added that her province budgeted $60 million dollars to fight forest fires this year, but the bill could be as high as $400 million.

Both premiers comments after a meeting of the premiers in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

In Saskatchewan, meanwhile, more evacuees are heading back to their homes as firefighters gain the upper hand on wildfires threatening some towns and reserves.

And, in B.C., there are currently about 166 wildfires, down from the 220 reported early this week.