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Governments provide $20 million to help ranchers rebuild from B.C. fires

VANCOUVER — The British Columbia and federal governments have announced $20 million to help ranchers recover from devastating wildfires that have displaced and killed livestock and destroyed agricultural land.

Forty per cent of the funding will be covered by the province, while the federal government will fund 60 per cent of the costs to help ranchers replace animals and structures lost in the flames.

A number of federal and provincial cabinet ministers and First Nations met in Vancouver where they discussed how to rebuild from the crisis and improve prevention and response in the future.

B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson says the previous government did not do enough to mitigate the risk of wildfires and he believes much more must be done to reduce fuel, including wood debris and underbrush, around communities.

He says the provincial and federal governments reaffirmed their commitment to the national wildland strategy, which aims to reduce wildfire risk.

Chief Ann Louie of the Williams Lake Indian Band says First Nation felt invisible during the crisis and she hopes the governments adopt a proposal put forward by Grand Chief Ed John to increase funding and supplies to Indigenous communities.

The Canadian Press

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