News

B.C. wildfire season heading for a scorcher

Jeff Nagel

Black Press

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 172,227 hectares since April 1 – more than the average of 141,000 hectares burned over the previous 10 years.

“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

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

COTR board announces appointments
 
Transportation Minister revs up B.C. speed limit reform debate
 
Surrey enforcer killed on the weekend
Pharmasave helps with international health care
 
West Kootenay/Boundary candidate numbers up slightly over 2011
 
#8 Bus Cuts Hit Pothole
De Groot family outraged
 
Military exercise
 
Stronger one kind act at a time

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Apr 3 edition online now. Browse the archives.