B.C. wildfire season now second-worst on record

B.C. wildfire season now second-worst on record

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Government statistics indicate this year’s wildfire season is the second worst in B.C.’s history, burning 945 km² of land.

The BC Wildfire Service says this year’s season comes in behind last year, which saw more than 1,200 km² burnt and roughly 65,000 people displaced or evacuated from their homes.

The 1958 fire season ranks third on the list.

The provincial agency says 1,981 blazes had ignited in the province as of Sunday — nearly 600 more fires than in 2017.

After some cooler weather hit B.C. over the weekend, some evacuation orders and alerts were cancelled or downgraded.There are about 60 wildfires of note burning in B.C.

The BC Wildfire Service says the Northwest Fire Centre based out of Smithers has borne the brunt of this season, seeing roughly 540 km² of fires. That’s nearly five times more than the second-highest region, the Prince George Fire Centre, 370 km southeast of Smithers.

Chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek says the fire trend of this season and last has prompted the BC Wildfire Service to review how it recruits and uses resources, including both staff and firefighting equipment.

– With files from Sasha Lakic and Jonathan Szekeres

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