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Fire activity in B.C.’s Southern Interior down considerably compared to last year

Click to play video: 'Forest fire activity down significantly in B.C. compared to this time last year with no fires currently burning anywhere in the province.' Forest fire activity down significantly in B.C. compared to this time last year with no fires currently burning anywhere in the province.
Forest fire activity down significantly in B.C. compared to this time last year with no fires currently burning anywhere in the province – Jun 19, 2020

Fire activity is down considerably in British Columbia so far this season compared to this time last year.

There are currently no active fires anywhere in the province, and Mother Nature has played a big part in that.

“We’ve had a considerable amount precipitation,” said Madison Smith, information officer for the Kamloops Fire Centre.

READ MORE: Deluge of rain douses wildfire risk in B.C.’s southern Interior

So far this season in the Kamloops Fire Centre, which includes the Okanagan and Shuswap, there have been 35 wildfires that have burned 117 hectares.

That compares to 87 fires and 992 hectares burned at this time last year.

Fire activity in the region so far in 2020 is also down from the 10-year-average of 64 fires and 1,004 hectares burned.

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June’s cooler and wetter weather has contributed to a lower fire risk in B.C.’s Southern Interior.

Click to play video: 'The BC Wildfire Service says the weekend downpour decreased fire risk in the Okanagan' The BC Wildfire Service says the weekend downpour decreased fire risk in the Okanagan
The BC Wildfire Service says the weekend downpour decreased fire risk in the Okanagan – Jun 15, 2020

“The danger rating in the Kamloops Fire Centre is low to very low,” Smith said.

While that’s good news, Smith said it’s in no way an indication of what kind of a forest fire season the region may face.

“Predicting the severity of the upcoming fire season at this stage is too difficult to do,” Smith told Global News.

“While long-term weather models may indicate trends over time, weather cannot be reliably forecasted for more than a few days in advance, so we do maintain our level of preparedness.”

READ MORE: Canada’s wildfire season expected to be ‘well above average’: Natural Resources Canada

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Despite the low fire danger rating, fire officials urge people to take care.

“If you are having a campfire or are out in the back country, we do just want you to still remain diligent and careful, “Smith said.

“If you are having a campfire, please never leave it unattended and make sure that your fire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before you leave the area for any length of time.”

Click to play video: 'Fire hazard near West Kelowna cleaned up by Tolko' Fire hazard near West Kelowna cleaned up by Tolko
Fire hazard near West Kelowna cleaned up by Tolko – May 5, 2020

So far this year across B.C., there have been 169 fires and 662 hectares burned.

At this time last year, B.C. had already recorded 352 fires and 11,096 hectares burned.

The 10-year provincial average is 282 fires and 22,900 hectares burned, much higher than what B.C. has seen so far this year.

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