A previous year’s wildfire in B.C. (Photo BC Wildfire Service)

A previous year’s wildfire in B.C. (Photo BC Wildfire Service)

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

The province has recorded significantly fewer wildfires this year compared to 2018.

As of July 7, almost 99 per cent less land has burned this year, compared to the same period in 2018.

So far, 660 ha have burned this year, compared to 47,050 ha in 2018.

READ MORE: Worst may almost be over for 2018 B.C. wildfire season

READ MORE: Prescribed burns on hold as B.C. prepares for COVID-19 wildfire season

According to last month’s wildfire seasonal outlook, the 2020 fire season began with drier-than-normal conditions in April.

However, it soon began to rain and most of the province stayed wet through May and June.

The province said rainfall patterns during the spring and summer months have significant influence on the severity of the wildfire season.

The frequency of rain, rather than the amount, will be more important in the summer to help keep wildfires to a small size.

The five year average for area burnt as of June 19 for B.C. is 40,459 ha, which is significantly higher than the 25 year average of 14,500 ha.

Roughly 98 per cent of wildfires in the province are out. Approximately 76 per cent of fires this year have been human-caused.

The worst fire season on record was 2018 and it was the second year in a row B.C. declared a state of emergency.

READ MORE: One-third fewer B.C. wildfires this year compared to 2018

READ MORE: Tweedsmuir Park wildfires grow to encompass more than 200,000 hectares

Most of the fires in 2018, were due to intense lightning events in late July.

The largest blaze in 2018, known as the Tweedsmuir Complex fire, which burned more than 300,000 ha, was started by four separate lightning strikes in August.

Fire conditions can quickly change and according to the calendar, summer has just started.

There are 1,700 fire fighters employed by the province this summer.

By the end of the 2018 fire season, more than 1.3 million ha had burned, which is roughly the same size as the Bahamas.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
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