Wildfires are intensifying in Western Canada in recent years according to researchers. (Tracy Calogheros/Facebook)

Forest fires in British Columbia worst ever this summer

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Forest fires raging in the west cost province of British Columbia have now surpassed the damage done last year, making this the worst summer on record.

The 2018 wildfire season officially became the province’s worst on August 29th, with 13,000 square kilometres burnt

Kevin Skrepnek, Chief Fire Information Officer for British Columbia’s Wildfire Service took part took part in a facebook interview with CBC meteorologist Joanna Wagstaffe on Tuesday.

He said there have been over 2,000 wildfires since April 1st, most of them caused by lightening strikes.

Wagstaffe noted that lightening strikes have also increased considerably, another outcome of climate change, with 10 to 15 per cent more strikes this summer than the average over the last 10 years.

Skrepnek said dry lightening was particularly concerning. He said there were over 4,500 people fighting the fires including teams from Mexico, Australia and New Zealand, and Washington State.

He says there are still over 535 fires burning most of them in central British Columbia on the Highway 16 corridor between Prince George and Smithers.

Today Skrepnek said a turn in the weather with more rain, has helped alleviate some of the challenges.

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Forest fires have raged in countries around the northern hemisphere this summer season and in Canada, both British Columbia and the central province of Ontario, were battling blazes in the large swaths of forest that make up so much of the two regions.

It’s believed people are responsible for as many as 400 wildfires in British Columbia.

Campfires, cigarettes, flares and even car accidents are ways that people have accidentally caused the fires.

Perhaps most alarming is It’s believed people are responsible for as many as 400 wildfires in British Columbia.

Campfires, cigarettes, flares and even car accidents are ways that people have accidentally caused the fires.

B.C.fire information officer Ryan Turcot says many people still are not getting the message that their behaviour may have played a role in starting these fires.

Robert Gray, a fire ecologist in Chilliwack, British Columbia says the scale of the wildfire emergencies during the summers of 2017 and 2018, was not expected for decades.

“What we thought was going to be an average condition in 2050, we’re starting to see those conditions coming a lot sooner,” Gray told CBC’s Bethany Lindsay.

Hazy, smoky summers may be the new normal out west.

(With files from CBC and CP)

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2 comments on “Forest fires in British Columbia worst ever this summer
  1. mitch says:

    Katja, Enjoy your tinfoil hat.

  2. Katja says:

    I’ve watched 4 fires in my neck of the woods in south eastern bc grow from baby 1ha fires to over 1,500 hectares each in several weeks. Every single fire started tiny, and those in charge of “fighting” the fires decided to let them burn for strategic reasons. Now they’re saying this is the worst fire season on record because of climate change? 10% more lightning strikes? Is there any news station reporting the fact that weather and climate modification/geoengineering has been ongoing since about 1967 (see NASA’s 1967 document A Recommended National Program in Weather Modification)? And how about this Patent that describes “Artificial Lightning And Controlling Cyclones”(patent # 20070238252)? Add that to former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski who stated way back in the ’70s that “technology will make available to the leaders of major nations, techniques for conducting secret warfare… Techniques of weather modification could be employed to produce prolonged periods of drought or storm”. How much might this be responsible for global warming??? And why is this technology being omitted from any climate change studies? I believe Climate change will make a convenient scapegoat for really poor planning. The huge amount of burned area in BC is because the experts CHOSE to let many of these fires burn from the get go. How many of these fires could have been entirely put out or minimized, had the manpower been made proper use of to actually fight them when they were small. Now, 3 of the 4 fires in my area have evacuation alerts and orders. If I could see that these fires were too close to inhabited areas to safely allow to burn, I wonder why those that know much more than I do about firefighting, chose to let them burn?