Mt McAllister fire near Hudson Hope.

B.C. wildfire season heading for a scorcher

More forest already burned than in average year.

  • Jul. 25, 2014 7:00 a.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 172,227 hectares since April 1—more than the average of 141,000 hectares burned over the previous 10 years.

“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 to evacuate 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.

 

 

Just Posted

Rossland’s Seven Summits school gets grant to grow global presence

Centre for Learning hopes to triple the number of international students it has

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

Rossland skiier places third at U19 Canadian Ski Cross

Rossland’s Sage Stefani finished out a successful season.

Warfield elementary school celebrating 70 years

Webster Elementary School officially opened April 23, 1949; open house and events planned next week

Patients thank Kootenay Boundary doctor

Dr. Scheepers’ patients thanked him for the gift of restoring their sight

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Bodies of 3 mountain climbers recovered after last week’s Banff avalanche

The men disappeared while attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in the Icefields Parkway

Happy birthday: Queen Elizabeth II turns 93 on Easter Sunday

Sunday is the first of two birthday celebrations each year for the queen

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Most Read