Fire Season now most destructive on record
Photo Provided by Anthony Frank
“This year is far and away the worst we’ve ever seen in terms of hectares burned,” says Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek.
Since April 1st, an estimated 894,491 hectares of land have been destroyed. As of today, this fire season over takes 1958 as the worst season on record, when nearly 856,000 hectares were lost. Skrepnek reminds us we’re only halfway through August.
There are now 149 fires burning, including 9 new ones that started up Tuesday. 1,029 fires have burned since April 1st.
While fires are growing, Skrepnek adds the recent rise in estimated growth is due to more accurate mapping.
Suppression efforts to date have cost $315.7 million.
There are 3,900 people working on the wildfires right now. This includes 756 personnel from elsewhere in Canada or around the world and nearly 1,500 contractors from the BC forest industry. There are currently 205 aircraft.
The situation is likely to continue getting worse. There is no rain in the short- or long-term forecast in the south. A cold front Friday will bring cooler temperatures but also gusts and likely thunderstorms.
The Hanceville-Riske Creek wildfire – burning about 250 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake – is still estimated at about 212,000 hectares.
The Elephant Hill wildfire is still approximately 168,092 hectares.