Slow start to B.C. wildfire season saves province money

B.C. Wildfire Services says there are 36 fires burning

This time last year, there was nearly three times the number of fires burning in B.C.

According to the B.C. Wildfire Service, there are currently 36 fires burning in B.C., this time last year the province had 97 under control wildfires.

“In 2018, this time to date we had responded to 816 wildfires and date this year we have had 555,” said B.C. Wildfire information officer Erika Berg.

This wildfire season has burned 12,300 hectares of forest, which is less than a quarter of the 56,400 hectares damaged this time last year, says Berg.

READ MORE: Update: Small South Okanagan wildfire under control

She said last year’s wildfire season didn’t pick up speed until the end of July, therefore, it’s too early to tell what conditions will be like in August.

“For southern B.C. we are seeing dryer conditions for August, but in northeastern B.C., they’re seeing more precipitation,” said Berg.

READ MORE: B.C. wildfire situation deteriorates

She said B.C. Wildfire is consistently assessing conditions and placing fire bans if necessary.

With fewer wildfires this season, Berg explained the province has saved on its wildfire budgets.

“We have seen a quieter July, which has affected costs, we have spent $76.6-million to date, that is a 35 per cent decrease from last year,” said Berg.

Out of the 36 fires burning Berg said 27 were lightning-caused and eight were human-caused fires.


@LarynGilmour
laryn.gilmour@blackpress.ca

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