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Wildfires at historical low in B.C.

FILE - Canada’s June wildfire forecast severity rating is well above average according to Natural Resources Canada. However, the B.C. Wildfire Service says if we look a little closer, it’s not as bad as you might think. (CityNews photo) SUMMARY
Summary

There have been 177 wildfires in the province this year to date

The 10-year average in B.C. is 338 wildfires

There are currently no provincial campfire bans in place

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — B.C. is seeing historical lows for wildfires this year, and crews hope to keep it that way.

This weekend is the first since the province began the third phase of its pandemic restart plan. It’s also the first weekend of summer, a time traditionally marked by camping, and campfires.

“With COVID-19 restrictions lifting, people are, I know, wanting to get out,” said Karley Desrosiers, information officer with the B.C. Wildfire Service.

“Looking into the weekend, there is a lot of precipitation in the forecast.”

With June being a wetter month so far, there are currently not wildfires burning in the province.

There have been 177 wildfires in the province this year, though, with a total of 665 hectares burned. The 10-year average is 338 fires and around 25,000 hectares burned.

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“We are very, very much below that,” Desrosiers said. “Looking at 10-year average, B.C. is significantly below the number of hectares burned.”

There are currently no provincial campfire bans in place, but she added to check for jurisdictional restrictions.

She advised those planning to have a campfire to have at least eight litres of water and the proper tools to put it out. Desrosiers said no campfire should be left unattended, and before it’s cool to touch before leaving.

“We do have a significant proportion of the fires each year started by unattended campfires,” she added. “Be extra cautious. Human-cause fires are preventable.”