The area consumed by wildfires in the province so far this season is less than one per cent of the area burned in each of the past two summers, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service. Since April 1, 466 fires have been recorded in B.C. but just 11,568 hectares burned, more than half of that in the Prince George fire region. That’s down from 2,117 fires and 1,354,284 hectares burned last year, the worst on record. Last year at this time fires had destroyed more than four times as much forest, according to wildfire service spokeswoman Kyla Fraser. …After the disastrous fire seasons in 2017 and 2018, the provincial government increased its firefighting budget by 58 per cent to $101 million a year. A $60-million Community Resiliency Investment Program was launched last September to provide local governments and First Nations with resources for fire mitigation. To date, 85 projects have been funded, according to the ministry of forests.
By Randy Shore
July 8, 2019