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All B.C. regions being monitored for wildfires due to lack of precipitation

Last Updated Jul 18, 2021 at 2:54 pm PDT

B.C. Wildfire crews work on the Mckay Creek wildfire north of Lillooet, B.C.

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Despite a comparable fire danger rating to the Interior, the BC Wildfire Service suggests the forests along the coast continue to protect themselves from major fire starts.

Anyone living on the South Coast knows rain hasn’t been around in any major form for weeks, leaving much of the region in drought-like conditions.

However, Karley Desrosiers with the BC Wildfire Service says of the roughly 1,100 fires which have started in B.C. this year, only about 120 have been lit in the coastal fire center.

“In the Coastal fire centre, a total of 325 hectares burned. To put that into perspective, in the Caribou Fire Center, there have been over 40,000 hectares burned and in the Kamloops Fire Center, almost 100,000. Even the Northwest we’re sitting at 25,000 hectares burned.”

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Desrosiers explains, the main reason for this is the nature of the forest floor along the coast, which doesn’t allow fires to shoot up the trees very quickly, giving crews enough time to get on top of any fires before they can spread out of control.

But Desrosiers says this doesn’t mean major fires can’t happen on the south coast — with much of the region’s fire-danger rating at high to extreme in certain parts.

“There’s no lack of concern in the coastal Fire Center.”

Premier John Horgan says a state of emergency is not necessary until emergency responders request one.

Meanwhile, with the number of wildfires increasing daily, more British Columbians are calling on the government to declare a state of emergency.

More than 12,000 people have signed a new petition on change.org asking the federal government to provide more resources for communities battling blazes throughout the province.

This comes as more than 1,000 fires have burned in B.C. so far this year.