The Mt. McAllister fire southwest of Hudson's Hope burned more than 10

B.C. wildfire season heading for a scorcher

More forest already burned than in average year of past decade (with infographic)

  • Dec. 31, 1969 5:00 a.m.

Wildfires in B.C. have already burned up more forest than has usually been lost in recent years, with many weeks of hot, smoky action still expected for firefighting crews.

Fires have burned 166,125 hectares since April 1 – more than the average of 141,000 hectares burned over the previous 10 years. (See interactive chart below)

“It has been quite busy,” fire information officer Navi Saini said Tuesday. “The danger ratings we saw for the last two weeks were the highest we’d seen since about 2010, which was the last busy fire season.”

In 2010, B.C. lost 337,149 hectares and spent $212 million fighting 1,673 fires.

Evacuation orders were issued for several communities that year.

There have been 652 fires so far this year and 128 of them were considered active as of Tuesday.

The provincial government has so far spent an estimated $80.7 million and more than nine times as much area has already been burned as the 18,259 hectares all of last year.

About 60 per cent of the fires so far have been caused by people – a high proportion – but Saini said that’s typical early in the season, because lightning-sparked fires tend to pick up later in the summer.

Cooler weather and rain this week is helping ease the wildfire risk in much of the province, but Saini said a high pressure ridge is expected to rebuild by the weekend, bringing a return to warm, dry conditions.

Thousands of residents were ordered evacuated due to wildfires earlier this month near West Kelowna and Hudson’s Hope, where BC Hydro dams that generate much of B.C.’s power were also evacuated but continued to operate. 

BC fire season stats | Create Infographics

 

 

Just Posted

Ice Demons get an early start on the ice

The players are determined to score wins in this year’s league.

Focus groups important for age-friendly policy

These results will drive the age-friendly action plan

Is it a car? Is it a buggy? Yes, all of the above

Riverbank cleanup nets some odd items

CMTN unveils renovated House of Cedar

$18.4M upgrade and renovation cited as key to modern trades training

Mobile complaint team coming to B.C.’s northwest

Ombudsperson’s office wants to hear from wronged residents

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

‘Summer from hell’: vandals rob Fort St. James community garden following devastating wildfire season

The community rallied to keep the Health Minds Community Garden open in Fort St. James

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Most Read