Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry refusing to disclose the cost of fighting individual fires
Natural Resources and Forestry Minister Jeff Yurek told the provincial legislature in the midst of last summer’s busy fire season that resources were in “good supply” and that crews “received the support they require.”
He didn’t mention how much that would cost taxpayers.
The next day, he announced an investment of an extra $100 million in forest fire fighting.
In the past, Ontario governments didn’t make funding announcements when forest fire crews needed more than the base budget of $70 million.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry refused to answer CBC’s questions about how that emergency funding is allotted.
But the ministry is saying that forest firefighting was $142 million over budget in 2018, for a total of $212 million.
That’s about twice as much as each of the last five years.
Provincial crews fought 1,300 wildfires in 2018, much higher than the 10-year average of 757.