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Wildfires burning at double the rate compared to 2014

July 16, 2015

By: Business Vancouver

Cool, wet weather this weekend helped dampened some forest fires, but didn’t prevent new ones from starting.

The province’s fire count now stands at 221, up from 180 fires that were active last week.

Fire crews have made little headway subduing two large fires near Pemberton. The Boulder Creek and Elaho fires are 0% contained, Navi Saini said during a July 13 press conference. However, those fires are less active than they were before the rainy weather and are less smoky.

Eight fires in B.C. still have evacuation orders or alerts associated with them.

Based on weather forecasts, the B.C. Wildfire Service is expecting more cool, rainy weather this week. However, this summer is expected to be dry and hot, meaning B.C. will likely continue to have above-average fire activity, Saini said.

B.C. is getting help from Australia; 50 fire fighters from Australia are arriving today to work in higher-level fire management and helicopter coordination roles.

Last year was B.C.’s worst fire season on record in terms of the numbers of hectares burned, according to John Innes, dean of the University of British Columbia’s faculty of forestry. Last year between April 1 and this time, 477 fires had burned 24,000 hectares, costing $44 million to fight. This year, the B.C. Wildfire Service has responded to 1,073 fires since April 1, burning 283,500 hectares, at a cost of $108 million.

By: Business Vancouver

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