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)

  • Jul. 22, 2014 6:00 p.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

Town council votes to reclassify LB Warner lot for residential use

Smithers just got one step closer to more affordable housing, but there are still many to go

Nisga’a leader named UNBC chancellor

Dr. Joseph Arthur Gosnell is the first Indigenous leader to assume the role

A medical first saved Ryan Jones’ life

The 25-year-old Smithers man is almost fully recovered after being effectively dead.

Steelheads recruiting event shows promise

A small but enthusiastic group of organizers is hoping to put a Smithers team back in the CIHL

Fletcher disregards facts on climate action

Letter writer Macrae says inaction jeopardizes jobs

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Canfor curtailing operations across B.C.

Low lumber prices and the high cost of fibre are the cause of curtailment

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Haida youth travels to New York for UN forum on Indigenous issues

Haana Edensaw presented her speech in Xaad Kil, Masset dialect of the Haida language

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Most Read