News

B.C. wildfire season heading for a scorcher

The Mt. McAllister fire southwest of Hudson
The Mt. McAllister fire southwest of Hudson's Hope burned more than 10,000 hectares.
— image credit: Government of B.C.

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

 

 

Mobile users click here if chart is slow to load.

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 ...

West Kelowna RedBlacks best in B.C.
 
UBCO teams get splits on hardwood
 
Ex-athlete eases chronic pain
Minor football finals this weekend in Kamloops
 
Nyhus thrives on European volleyball experience
 
Telemark hosts Teck B.C. Cup this weekend
UPDATE: Safeway and surrounding businesses remain condoned off
 
Bedtime Rhymes Pantomime brings fairy tales to life
 
Student enrolment drops again at Terrace and area public schools

Community Events, November 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

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

Nov 26 edition online now. Browse the archives.