• MLWA 7

Fewer wildfires, less scorched land in B.C. and Okanagan region so far this year compared to 2018

-- Okanagan Region (British Columbia)

As wildfires go, 2019 has been a relatively quiet year for British Columbia. Since April 1, there have been 691 wildfires across the province, including 12 in the last seven days, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service. Overall, 21,290 hectares have been scorched. While those sound like big numbers, they’re a drop in the bucket compared to last year.

By this point in 2018, there had been 2,005 wildfires, along with nearly a million hectares — 970,827 — burned. That’s 1,314 fewer fires and 949,537 fewer hectares burned. The B.C. Wildfire Service says there are several factors contributing to the downturn in wildfires, but the biggest has been the weather — including the amount of precipitation that soaked the province in spring.

Environment Canada says 2019 has been an average summer so far, with no bursts of extreme heat. However, the key words are “so far,” with Environment Canada noting that hot weather is in store this week for the Southern Interior, with temperatures expected to climb up to around 30 C (86 F). As of Tuesday, B.C. Wildfire has no listed “wildfires of note.”

In 2018 at this time, there were several such wildfires.