Wildfires burn 17,000 hectares of British Columbia forestland in 2013 fire season compared with 90,000 hectares in 2012, despite increase in number of fires to 1,800 from 1,500; province records suppression costs of C$134M

Wendy Lisney

Wendy Lisney

Oct 4, 2013 – Times Colonist

KAMLOOPS, British Columbia , October 4, 2013 () – B.C.'s Wildfire Management Branch endured a tense summer as record dry spells meant parched forests and the potential for a massive fire, but the season that began with such anxiety has ended on a positive note.

Branch spokesman Kevin Skrepnek said there were more fires this summer than last year, but far less timber was lost to the flames. He said 1,800 fires were recorded this year, compared with the 1,500 sparked in 2012, but quick action kept the lid on this season's blazes.

The branch reported 17,000 hectares, or 170 square kilometres of woodland, burned this year compared with the 90,000 hectares - 900 square kilometres - charred last year.

Skrepnek says the province spent $134-million on fire suppression over the season.

He estimated final expenditures will fall to $118-million, once the province is paid an estimated $16 million for the cost of sending firefighters to assist outside B.C. boundaries.

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