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

Greater Victoria man killed in Alberta accident was expectant father

Geordie Murray described as ‘wonderful husband, brother son and friend’

Canada Post aware of ongoing email, text phishing scams

Scammers pretending to be Canada Post will ask for personal and payment information

Suicide rates not impacted by seasons

While men are three times more likely to commit suicide, women have higher rates of depression

VIDEO: Music stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant at Grammys award show

Music artists including Billy Ray Cyrus, Rick Ross and Kirk Franklin paid tribute to Bryant

Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

Ontario confirms second presumptive coronavirus case in wife of first patient

Both arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Most Read