BC wildfire season to be second biggest on record

Published: August 27, 2018

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The ongoing wildfire season in British Columbia is on course to be the second biggest in the province’s history, at least in terms of how much land coverage the blaze has affected.

British Columbia fire crews are still combatting fires throughout the province, with 550 still ablaze and burning land. 60 of those fires are deemed “fires of note”, which means they could pose a direct threat to people and/or property.

CBC News reports as of August 1, just under one million (945,000) hectares of land have burned in BC this season. Interestingly, the likelihood of the second place in terms of land burned will only be beaten by last year’s season, which burned 1.2 million hectares. One thing is clear, there is a trend of worsening wildfire seasons in the province.

5,000 people have been evacuated, while over 20,000 are under evacuation alerts, where they may have to leave their homes at any moment.

Despite being the second worse fire season in BC’s history, we reported last week that the fires have been relatively tame in terms of insurance damage. Glenn McGillivray, managing director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR), described property damage as “light”.

While McGillivray has warned insurers to stay vigilant, his assessment was echoed by Intact Insurance, Canada’s largest carrier. Speaking to Canadian Underwriter, Intact said it has had “minimal claims activity to date” from wildfires in British Columbia.

While fire is a real and present danger, British Columbia seems to be escaping major catastrophic events like the Fort McMurray wildfire.