There have been fewer severe wildfire incidents this year than compared to summer 2021, said the BC Wildfire Service in a press conference on Sept. 1.
Unlike other years, most fires in the province were caused by lightning. Approximately 75 percent of fires were caused by lightning strikes, which were particularly active in the latter half of August, causing a spike in new blazes.
There was double the number of lightning-caused wildfires throughout August, compared to the 20-year-average.
The province boasted that 2022 saw the lowest rate of human-caused fires since 1950.
The area burned this year-to-date, is 42,997 hectares and significantly less than the “extreme conditions” of 2021, which resulted in 865,839 hectares of scorched land.
Currently, there is one wildfire of note in the province the Dinosaur Lake blaze burning in the Prince George Fire Centre.
Since April 1, there have been 1,355 active fires across B.C. Approximately 93 percent of the blazes are out, under control or being held.
This is lower than the 20-year average for the province, which is 1,515 fires.
The below-average burns are attributed to heavy winter precipitation, cooler spring temperatures, low winds and fewer human-caused fires.
Fall conditions are expected to be warmer than average, and dry, with increased winds, and continued lightning events, which may contribute to new fires.
BC Wildfire now has funding to operate year-round, rather than being restricted to the summer months. The investment into preventative fire management was made in response to the impact of climate change on the province.
As conditions are suitable, the ecosystem restoration burn planned for the Bull Mountain area is taking place today. Fire is a normal and natural process in many of B.C.’s ecosystems and is needed in this area to restore bighorn sheep habitat and reduce the risk of wildfires. pic.twitter.com/2jR5AwBovE
— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) September 1, 2022