Latest numbers confirm 2018 was B.C.’s worst wildfire season on record

Last year saw 2,115 fires and 1.35 million hectares burned

With wildfires already burning in Alberta, thoughts of last year’s smoke-filled summer are hot on residents’ minds.

Officials are already taking steps to prevent another devastating season, as the memory of last year hangs in the air.

In 2018, B.C. experienced the worst fire season on record with more than 2,000 fires and 1.35 million hectares burned, according to new statistics released by Statistics Canada.

READ ALSO: Vancouver Island hosts training exercise ahead of coming wildfire season

Wildfires in B.C. accounted for 60 per cent of the total burned area in Canada last year, a more than 50-per-cent jump for the seven-per-cent average from 1990 to 2018.

A estimated $615 million was spent on fire management and suppression operations in 2018. Additional costs associated with evacuation and property lost are not yet available.

READ ALSO: Dry March sparks fire concern

According to Statistics Canada, all air quality measuring stations had at least one day where the Air Quality Health Index reached a seven or higher, which is considered a high health risk.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

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