Fewer forest fires in sunny B.C. summer

B.C. has emerged from one of its sunnier summers in recent years with relatively little forest fire damage.

Helicopter drops water on a hot spot as BC Forest crews wait on the ground to move in at the White Lake fire near Penticton in late July.

B.C. has emerged from one of its sunnier summers in recent years with a below-average number of forest fires.

As of Sept. 1, the B.C. government’s wildfire management branch record 1,687 reported wildfires for the season, compared to an average year of nearly 2,000 fires. This year’s fires burned a total of 11,434 hectares, far less than the average damage of more than 130,000 hectares.

Wet weather returned with school to large parts of the province, after a sunny summer that saw several dry-weather records set. For the first time since records were kept, Vancouver airport recorded no rain for the entire month of July.

The number of report fires so far this year is slightly higher than the total for last year, but the total area burned in 2012 was nearly 10 times greater. The province spent $133 million on firefighting last year, a total that should be much lower when the bills are added up for 2013.

Open burning remains banned for the Southeast Fire Centre region until as late as Sept. 20. Campfire bans were lifted Aug. 26 for the Kamloops and Coastal Fire Centre regions, and earlier in the month for the Northwest, Cariboo and Prince George regions as dry conditions were relieved.

Despite public information campaigns and open burning restrictions, provincial statistics continue to show about 40 per cent of wildfires are human caused, with most of the rest sparked by lightning.

The relatively quiet fire season allowed B.C. to send crews to help battle wildfires in Washington, Montana and Idaho during August.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nominations for Victoria municipal byelection are in

Victoria will elect one councillor

City to lead discussion on John A. Macdonald Monday night

The fourth chapter of the city’s reconciliation dialogues was moved to a larger venue

Athletes gear up for Pan Am XC Cup at Bear Mountain Saturday

This is the first time Canada is hosting the championships

Extra precautions against COVID-19 put in place as tourism season arrives

Airports and border services follow federal cues to minimize spread of coronavirus

Court hears of moments before Victoria father stabbed to death in the middle of Hillside Avenue

Sentencing hearing for Daniel Creagh, charged with manslaughter, began Friday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Lawyer gets house arrest for possessing child porn

Maple Ridge resident gets nine-month term

Most Read