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B.C. wildfires caused millions of dollars in insured damage

The damage done to the Boston Flats Community Estates trailer park, between Cache Creek and Ashcroft, by the Elephant Hill wildfire is seen in this July 11, 2017 photo.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
September 27, 2017 - 6:45 PM

KAMLOOPS - The Insurance Bureau of Canada says just two huge wildfires — one west of Kamloops and a series of fires that combined into one massive wildfire in the Cariboo — caused more than $127 million in insured damage.

Figures show the Plateau Fire, a complex of six fires in bush west of Williams Lake, caused almost $100 million in damage to properties, homes and businesses as it charred more than 52,000 square kilometres of land.

Damage estimated at $27 million is attributed to the Elephant Hill fire that broke out near Ashcroft in early July and burned nearly 2,000 square kilometres, although it is now almost completely contained.

Experts from the University of B.C. and the University of Northern B.C., along with fire ecologists, have drafted a letter to the province saying they believe 2017's record-setting fire season "represents the new normal and is part of a global trend of increasing mega-fires."

Statistics from the BC Wildfire Service show 1,282 fires have burned about 12,000 square kilometres of land since the fire season began April 1, with more than 45,000 people forced from their homes at the height of the fires.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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