The latest numbers released by the BC Wildfire Service suggest this year’s wildfire season was significantly less widespread and costly compared to last year.
Ryan Turcot with the BC Wildfire Service says the 2016 wildfire season got off to an early and active start.
“In April and May we did see an above average number of wildfires specifically up in the north-eastern corner of the province, but we got rain in June and July, and even in August, we got periods of extensive precipitation, so over the course of the summer weather overall was favourable for wildfire suppression,” says Turcot.
Since April 1, the BC Wildfire Service responded to just over 1,000 wildfires. That’s compared to 1,800 wildfires by the same time last year and the 10-year average of just over 1,600 wildfires.
“So we have seen about two-thirds of what’s considered normal,” says Turcot.
READ MORE: Global BC coverage of this year’s wildfires
Just under 100,000 hectares of land have been burned by wildfires during this fire season, compared to just under 297,000 hectares last year, costing the province $109 million as compared to $250 million last year.
But even though the campfire ban along the South Coast of the province has already been lifted and we are only several weeks away from the official start of fall, Turcot says we are not out of the woods yet.
“The fire danger rating across the province is on a downward trend but it still exists and the BC Wildfire Service is urging people to use an abundance of caution when they are in the backcountry,” he says. “Unsafe activity this time of year can still cause a wildfire.”