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.


Just Posted

Mount Douglas Mathletes enjoying success by the numbers

Saanich Grade 9s walk away with top five spots in Island math competition

Songhees Wellness Centre event immersed in indigenous cuisine and culture

Camosun and Songhees cook together for reconciliation while fundraising for student scholarship fund at March 23 event

Victoria Women’s Expo showcases the latest trends

Over 100 vendors feature lots of beauty, health, food, jewelry products and more

Hillside Avenue death ruled a homicide, police say

No charges have yet been laid in the killing of Victoria man Joe Gauthier

Hope gets eight year sentence for Church Avenue sex assault

Eight years is the sentence for David Robert Hope, who was found… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

Over 80s leading Victoria’s fitness charge

Go at your own pace, advises 87 year old gym buff

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Canucks snap scoreless streak but fall short in 5-3 loss to Sharks

Swiss forward Timo Meier nets two, including the game-winner, to lead San Jose

Lilia Zaharieva wants to share her medical good fortune

UVic student wants treatment for cystic fibrosis made available for all

Saanich Talks event kicks off Local Area Plan updates

Updates on plans for Cadboro Bay and Cordova Bay the focus of Wednesday meeting at UVic

Braves trim Bucs to fend off elimination

Game 7 of VIJHL playoff series goes Sunday night in Nanaimo

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Most Read