Alberta rolls out wildfire spending, ups emergency fund to $2B for 2024

By Madeline Smith
CBC News
March 1, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Todd Loewen

The Alberta government will spend more to monitor and combat wildfires in 2024, and put aside a bigger contingency fund after taking out more than $1 billion to deal with the most destructive wildfire season on record. In total, drought and wildfire expenses for the last fiscal year added up to $2.9 billion, including agriculture disaster support. After nearly three-quarters of a $1.5-billion contingency fund went toward wildfire response in 2023, the UCP government’s 2024-25 budget is boosting the total to $2 billion. Forestry and Parks Minister Todd Loewen said Friday that an additional $55 million will go toward wildfire management this year, with $151 million in total spending over the next three years. That will increase the number of nighttime wildfire-fighting helicopters from one to three, add two new air tanker contracts and more drones for aerial surveillance.

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