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Cool, damp summer leads to half the number of wildfires in Thompson-Okanagan

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
September 08, 2016 - 9:00 PM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - While it wasn't the greatest summer weather-wise for those who enjoy outdoor recreation, it was a fantanstic summer for those who protect us from wildfire.

Max Birkner with the B.C. Wildfire Service says at this time last year there had been 458 wildfires in the Kamloops Fire Centre — from Blue River in the north to the U.S. border in the south and from Bridge River in the west to Monashee Mountains in the east — which burned over 10,500 hectares.

This year there have been half that number of wildfires, 225, and only a fraction of hectares were burned at 922.

Birkner says a higher percentage of the fires this year were caused by humans, started by things like abandoned campfires or discarded cigarettes.

"It can also include equipment used by industry," he says.

Out of the 225 fires this year, 111 were human-caused. Last year, 121 of the 458 fires were human-caused.

The other fires were caused by lightning.

Here's a regional breakdown of what this fire season looked like compared to last year:

CLEARWATER ZONE

2016: 27 fires burned five hectares

2015: 79 fires burned 183 hectares

KAMLOOPS ZONE

2016: 64 fires burned 51 hectares

2015: 87 fires burned 563 hectares

SALMON ARM ZONE

2016: 20 fires burned four hectares

2015: 49 fires burned 365 hectares

VERNON ZONE

2016: 28 fires burned 12 hectares

2015: 49 fires burned 365 hectares

PENTICTON ZONE

2016: 39 fires burned 117 hectares

2015: 98 fires burned 6,558 hectares

MERRITT ZONE

2016: 28 fires burned 119 hectares

2015: 64 fires burned 514 hectares

LILLOOET ZONE

2016: 19 fires burned 602 hectares

2015: 17 fires burned 2,372 hectares


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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
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