As of last weekend, BC’s wildfire season has become the second worst on record in terms of area burned.
Canada Wildfire, a partnership between the University of Alberta, Alberta Agriculture, and Forestry and Natural Resources Canada, recently compared data from the National Fire Database and BC Wildfire Service.
2018 recently surpassed the year 1985 as the second-worst season since 1950. As of Monday, August 27, approximately 970,827 Ha. (9,708-sq-km) had been burned.
The worst season in history, with over 1,200,000 Ha. burned, is 2017 when more than 6,000 people were under evacuation orders and 23,000 more on evacuation alert.
Matt MacDonald, Environment Canada Meteorologist, commented that “last year, there were fewer fires, but they were larger in size. This year, there’s a large number of fires and they’re more spread out across the province.”
Last season, an estimated total of 1,353 fires were started. Of those fires, roughly 40% were human-caused and 60% were caused by lightning.
According to the BC Wildfire Service, just over 2,000 fires have sparked in the province since April 1, 2018.
…with files from Jenni Sheppard