For British Columbia’s Forest Service, relief comes in the form of news reports confirming that this year’s fire season has been significantly less active (one can’t help but recall the concern expressed in April by Vanderhoof Mayor Gerry Thiessen at the COFI Conference, over the threat to his community posed by forest fires here).
The Vancouver Sun this morning here confirmed that some of the province’s 1,000 firefighters in the Wildfire Management Branch have even been deployed to Idaho, Montana, and Washington to assist with battling fires south of the border. According to the report, “there were 1,707 wildfires in B.C. since April compared to 1,328 last year, and most of the fires were easily contained at a cost so far of $124 million, compared to the $155 million spent on firefighting operations last year. The average annual number of wildfires over 10 years is 1,760.”
A provincial fire information officer with B.C. Wildfire Management Branch confirms that so far this year 11,556 hectares have been burned compared to 52,322 hectares burned in 2012. “We had much larger fires last year, especially in northern B.C., said Kevin Skrepnek. This year it’s been up and down in activity with a steady summer until the first few weeks of August, which were very active with lightning. But almost all the lightning came with rain. It did still cause hundreds of fires but most were relatively small,” he said.
The current wild fire situation in B.C. is available at the B.C. Wildlife Management Branch website here.