Upcoming wildfire season could be worse than last year, federal minister says

OTTAWA — Provincial, territorial and federal emergency response ministers have wrapped up two days of meetings in Ottawa on the upcoming wildfire season, which is already getting an early start in Alberta.

Federal Emergency Preparedness Minister Harjit Sajjan says this year’s wildfires could be even worse than last year.

He says the two-day discussions between the ministers haven’t necessarily resulted in a new strategy but have focused co-ordinating to be more responsive.

Sajjan says that includes ensuring all the provinces and territories know all the tools they have available so they can respond quickly.

He says the politicians are also learning from lessons last year, Canada’s worst wildfire season on record.

That includes early detection of reactivated fires to take action before they can harm a town and measures as simple as ensuring flammable patio furniture is moved out of the way.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 21, 2024.

The Canadian Press