Is BC ready for wildfire season?

By Sandrine Jacquot
The Georgia Straight
April 6, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Last year was the most destructive wildfire season in BC’s recorded history. According to provincial data, a total of 2,245 wildfires burned more than 2.84 million hectares of forest and land—a number that doubles the last record of 1.35 million hectares burned in 2018. “The area of forests burned both in BC and across Canada in 2023 was horrific,” says Jens Wieting, senior policy and science advisor at the Sierra Club of BC. “It’s a really emotional topic because the trends are very concerning.” It begs an important question: is the Province properly ready for this year? The 2024 wildfire outlook seems grim, and not just in BC. Alberta already announced an early start to wildfire season in February, when it typically starts March 1. “We have definitely seen in the last 20 years a major change in the way that fire is spreading and heating in our forests,” says Lori Daniels, the Koerner Chair of the Centre for Wildfire Coexistence at UBC.

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