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

VIDEO: Art in the time of COVID: how a Langley exhibition managed it

Holding the charitable event depended on which phase of restrictions were in effect

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

OUR VIEW: Fox fight continues

Thanks for keeping this courageous young man’s vision alive 40 years later

Lantern Park townhomes set to open this Sunday on Aldergrove/Abbotsford border

Developer Peter Reimer said more homes, including a mid-rise complex, are in store for the future

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read