Vancouver Island escapes most of B.C.’s summer fires


WATCH: The number of wildfires on the south coast of B.C. were below average even though the province is seeing its worst wildfire season ever. Dean Stoltz has more.

Thursday was the last official day of summer before the fall equinox arrives Friday at 1:02 p.m. Over the summer, British Columbians dealt with its worst wildfire season on record.

By contrast, Vancouver Island escaped more or less unscathed but officials are warning the fire season isn’t over here yet.

“We did weather ourselves quite well here on the coast compared to other parts of the Interior” said Nigel Burrows, Senior Wildfire Officer for Operations at the Coastal Fire Centre in Errington. “As an example, we’ve had 99 fires to date. Six of them were lightening, 93 were human-caused fires but our ten-year average is somewhere around 185 fires so we’re doing quite well.”

He attributes the lower numbers on the Island to more people heeding the warnings about the fire danger.

The Interior was also hit with a major lightning storm 11 weeks ago today setting off many of the fires there.

Vancouver Island did have some notable and visible fires including the 85-hectare Kaikash Creek fire near Telegraph Cove.

“It was a fairly rapid burn in recent logging and up into some inoperable ground,” said Burrows. “That one is still an active fire, it’s still producing a bit of smoke. Up on the top, it’s too steep for our crews to work effectively and it’s sitting up there nicely so we’re continuing to monitor it.”

Municipal fire departments were busy as well dousing countless spot fires.

Officials say Vancouver Island could still see some wildfires break out and that recent rains were not enough to end the fire season here.

The good news is that with shorter days and longer, cooler nights, it won’t dry out as much as it did in the summer.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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