VICTORIA – A hot, dry weather forecast for August and into September is expected to result in increased wildfire activity in British Columbia, especially in the southern regions.
Neal McLoughlin, the superintendent of predictive services at the BC Wildfire Service, says wildfire activity is also forecast to shift from the province’s north to southern areas.
He says there were 149 new wildfires in B.C. over the past week and similar numbers of fire starts are expected through August, but those weekly fire counts are below normal, which in some years reached 700.
Forests Minister Katrine Conroy told a monthly fire forecast briefing there are 91 active wildfires in B.C., with six of those considered fires of note, including wildfires near Penticton and outside Lytton.
Conroy says 528 wildfires this year have burned 220 square kilometres.
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says wildfire activity this year has resulted in 326 property evacuation orders and 500 evacuation alerts, while at the same time last year there were 4,300 evacuation orders and 21,000 alerts.