B.C.’s current wildfire season is now the second worst in the province’s history, just behind 2017.
The B.C. Wildfire Service says 9,500 square kilometres of land were burned so far this year, just under the 12,000 square kilometres last year.
The number of fires over the summer has exceeded the previous record, sitting at 1,981 as of Sunday, 600 more than 2017.
As of Friday, 550 fires were burning across B.C., and on Saturday the Coastal Fire Centre reported 67 were still active on Vancouver Island.
One of the most concerning fires currently burning on the Island is near the Village of Zeballos on the north-west coast.
It has grown to 168 hectares, nearly doubling in size in the last week, but the blaze is moving up and away from the village. Though the possibility of high winds has authorities staying on the ground to protect the community.
Twenty-one firefighters, five structural protection units and multiple helicopters are working to tackle the fire.
“The community has been really accommodating in the area… we want to thank the community for all their help receiving our firefighters, and for all their accommodations,” said Shayne Mccool, a fire information officer at the Quinsam fire complex.
Officials say the rain over the last few days did somewhat help.
“The Coastal Fire Centre has received rain over the last 48 hours which is helping to decrease fire behavior on a number of our high priority fires,” said fire information officer Natasha Broznitsky of the Coastal Fire Centre.
“However the amounts of rain for the Coastal Fire Centre were not sufficient to put out the fires and if we do return to a warming drying period, we may return to the place we were previously.”
Due to the number of wildfires across the province crews are now prioritizing tackling blazes threatening people and property.
With files from The Canadian Press and CBC