B.C. Wildfire Service offers preliminary tally of costs from disastrous summer

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KAMLOOPS, B.C. - British Columbia has spent more than $500 million battling dozens of wildfires during the 2017 forest fire season.

Fire information officer Kevin Turcott says total suppression costs to date amount to almost $548 million.

He says that's nearly nine times the original budget of $63 million and far above the $382 million spent in 2009, which officials say was the previous highest cost.

Hundreds of wildfires have been recorded in the province since April 1 as B.C. endured its worst-ever fire season.

Several fires continue to burn, including six in the southeastern B.C.

More than 45,000 people were forced from their homes at the height of the fire season.

Turcott says the fires scorched just over 12,000 square kilometres of timber, bush and grassland.

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