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Slow start to BC's forest fire season

Last Updated Jun 18, 2017 at 5:54 pm PST

(Source: BC Wildfire Service)
Summary

The number of fires so far this year is less than half the number at the same time last year

Even though firefighters haven't been too busy in BC so far this year, that could change with a warm-than-usual summer e

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The charred landscape in Portugal is a reminder of how deadly a wildfire can be.

But fortunately the start of BC’s fire season has been a fairly quiet one.

At this point last year, the BC wildfire service had recorded over 360 wildfires. This year the total is 168.

The amount of land consumed by fires so far this year is a tenth of what it normally is at the middle of June.

Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek says the situation could change very quickly with Environment Canada predicting a warmer-than-normal summer.

He says people living in forested areas need to pay attention.

“If you’re in rural areas or suburbs where there are a lot of trees you need to know about the threat. You need to know how you’re getting out of there.”

Homeowners, he says, should be removing flammable trees and materials from the exterior of their homes.

He warns us that we are just now heading into the summer months, typically the busiest for firefighting crews.

“We don’t want people thinking the danger isn’t there. We are going into what is normally our busiest period.”

And he points out firefighting crews came in handy during the flood threat in the Okanagan this spring.

“It certainly has been a slow season, and so far our crews have been quite busy in terms of flood response.”