Research has tied longer and dryer wildfire seasons to climate change, but BC’s Forests Minister isn’t jumping to that conclusion.
During a weekend wildfire situation update, John Rustad admitted that the province is seeing hotter and dryer conditions over the summer, but also seeing colder and wetter winter and spring seasons.
“It’s hard to say exactly what will happen with climate change, but what do know is the impact of the mountain pine beetle and what it did through that area has left a forest with a fair bit of fuel and in pretty dry conditions,” he says. “Was that climate change? It’s hard to say exactly if there was a direct causality associated with it.”
Rustad didn’t comment about the future of industries like oil and gas extraction with raging wildfires possibly being a new normal in the province, which is in flux with an incoming change in government.
Transportation Minister Todd Stone adds that bigger policy issues will be dealt with in the months ahead but for now he wants to focus on keeping evacuees safe and managing the fire situation as best as possible.