B.C. wildfire costs top $100M, but still less than in 2015

Forest fires tore through northeastern B.C., but then cooler weather took over June into July.

B.C. has spent $103 million fighting wildfires across the province since the fire season began April 1.

Information officer Claire Allen of the BC Wildfire Service says that is less than half the amount spent in B.C. over the same period last year.

She says $232 million was spent battling 1,772 fires between April and the end of August in 2015, while just 936 blazes have scorched about 990 square kilometres of B.C. woodland this year.

That compares to the nearly 3,000 square kilometres of bush burned across B.C. in 2015.

This year’s fire season began early and aggressively with several huge wildfires in northeastern B.C.

But Allen says cooler weather in late June and throughout July dampened the fire danger, and a recent heat wave is also expected to be checked by lower temperatures this weekend.

“That’s going to bring showers beginning in the northern portions of B.C. and coming into the southern half by the end of the weekend,” she says.

“That’s going to bring variable amounts of precipitation, cloudier skies, cooler temperatures, higher levels of humidity and all those things work together to reduce the fire danger rating across the province.”

Sixty wildfires are currently burning in B.C., with eight new fires in the last 24 hours, most of those in the Coastal Fire Centre, where the fire danger rating is ranked high to extreme.


The Canadian Press

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