Record-setting Damage, Becoming the Norm
Southside of Francois Lake from the north shore during 2018 Wildfire season, photo from Clint Lambert.
We are in the early days of the 2019 wildfire season, but BC has had back to back record-setting fire seasons, as more than 1.3 million hectares were burned last year.
The Coastal Fire Centre has only had six fires and most have been backyard burns and grass fires that escaped.
Information Officer with the Coastal Fire Centre Donna MacPherson said, of the 297 total fires last year, 135 were human-caused and escaped campfires were a major cause of wildfire.
“We ask people to be very careful with campfires, make sure they’re out, that the ashes are cold to the touch, that you don’t leave them unattended,” said MacPherson. “If it’s windy, stay nearby and monitor it or don’t light one. We know that people aren’t doing this on purpose, but waiting until the campfire is out and pouring cold water over it is really important.”
Last year’s record-setting fire season in BC eclipsed 2017 when more than 1.2 million hectares were burned.