VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The total area affected by wildfires in BC has been on an upward trend for years.

While the numbers of hectares burned by wildfires goes up and down by the season, the 10-year average has been rising since 1991 according to government stats

UBC professor Simon Donner says as the climate continues to warm, this will have a direct impact on wildfire seasons in the coming years.

“You can’t look at an individual fire and for certain say climate change alone caused that fire, but we do expect the sort of thing we are seeing this summer which is more fires covering a larger area.”

“Certainly as the planet is warming we expect to see forest fires become more frequent, more widespread and larger in the west,” he warns.

Donner adds our summers will continue to get drier on average, with more water falling as rain rather than snow during the winter.