British Columbia wildfires cost less this year

Published: August 26, 2016

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



The wildfire in Fort McMurray was a monster that cost the insurance industry $4.5 billion after sticking Alberta in May. However, British Columbia has also been experiencing frequent wildfires all summer, and while the cost is not as devastating as Fort McMurray, it is costing the province a fortune.

Indeed, B.C. has spent $103 million since April 1 combatting the wildfires that a raging in the province. Information Office Claire Allen from the BC Wildfire Service says that while the figure is high, it is actually lower by half than through the same period in 2015.

British Columbia has spent $103 million fighting wildfires across the province since the fire season began April 1.

Information officer Claire Allen of the BC Wildfire Service says that is less than half the amount spent in B.C. over the same period last year. Indeed, between April 1 and August 31 last year, the province spent $232 million combatting 1,772 fires which devastated 3,000 square kilometers of bush. This year has been relatively quiet, with just 936 wildfires across 990 square kilometers.

There were worries at the start of the fire season that blazes would be more devastating this year. The season start potently with big fires in the northeaster regions of British Columbia. A cooler than normal summer and a rainy July managed to temper fires throughout the province, and recent heatwaves have not been prolonged enough to start consistent woodland blazes.

“That's going to bring variable amounts of precipitation, cloudier skies, cooler temperatures, higher levels of humidity and all those things work together to reduce the fire danger rating across the province,“ Allen added.

Fire crews are still hard at work though. Sixty wildfires continue to burn in the province.