Saskatchewan

Opposition wants to see a forest fire budget for this season

The Opposition says it wants to know how much money the government has set aside to fight forest fires this season.

$130M spent on fighting fires in 2015

A firefighter at work near English Bay in the La Ronge area of Saskatchewan. (Twitter)

The Opposition says it wants to know how much money the government has set aside to fight forest fires this season.

The NDP says without a spring budget, it wonders how prepared the government is to deal with what could be another bad year.

"We're fully prepared to support and make sure that the resources are available," said Opposition leader Trent Wotherspoon, after the first question period of the new legislative session.

"We don't have a budget here right now, so we don't know what the allocation is this year. So we'd like to see what that actual budget is and how it's being spent."

Environment minister, Herb Cox, says last year the government spent $130 million to fight forest fires in the province's north.

The government's average wildfire budget in recent years is about $56 million.

Cox agrees this year could be another bad one for fires, but he says the government does not budget for the worst case scenario.

"Fire conditions can change. The number of fires can change as the season progresses. And, as we did in 2015 with the unprecedented fire season, we will have the resources to fight whatever fires are necessary," Cox said.

Cox says the budget for fighting wild fires will be released along with the rest of the government's budget on June 1.