Wildfires plentiful this year in BC
Aug 18, 2013 / 10:27 am
It's been a busy year for BC wildfire crews and administrators, but currently things are under control and hopefully will remain that way.
Since the fiscal fire year in BC began on April 1, more than 1,550 fires have either been burning, or continue to burn in the province and of that number, 407 have been within the confines of the Kamloops Regional Fire Centre which includes the Okanagan Valley.
If that sounds like a lot of fires, it is. In the fiscal year 2012, a total of 1,659 fires were reported and the current fiscal year is less than four months old.
Those fires have destroyed almost 11.500 hectares of woodland, grassland and forest in BC and in the Kamloops region alone, that total stands at more than 2,800 hectares.
Nevertheless, it's unlikely we'll come remotely close to the high-water mark for wildfires in the province which was set in 2009. That year 3,064 fires burned in the province, consuming nearly 250,000 hectares and costing the province nearly $400m. The lightest year in recent history was 2011 when just 655 fires consumed only 12,500 hectares.
Meanwhile, the White Lake fire, discovered July 28 and which began about 5 km southwest of Okanagan Falls, is finally 100 percent contained as of yesterday - Aug. 17 and is no longer considered a "wildfire of note" by BC Wildfire Management. Nevertheless, that blaze, which burned for nearly three weeks, destroyed almost 70 hectares in that area.
A ban on campfires in the province continues throughout this summer, but the majority of fires in recent weeks have been ignited by lightning strikes.
And, the forest fire danger rating remains highest in the Kamloops district, with nearly all regions rated at high to extreme range.
The British Columbia Forest Service, Wildfire Management Branch has been responding to wildfires since it was formed in 1912.
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