Shannon Briggs took this photo of the wildfire that burned near Sayward on May 10th, 2019. (supplied by Shannon Briggs)
Mother Nature has put a damper on the wildfire season in the Coastal Fire Centre region.
And that’s a good thing.
Since April 1st there have been 155 fires in the Coastal Fire Centre area.
That’s a big drop from last year’s 292 fires, to date.
The most telling stat is the number of hectares burned in the region this year compared to last.
Up to today, 325 hectares have burned in the Coastal Fire Centre.
From April 1st to Sept. 13 last year, wildfires scorched through a whopping 164,430 hectares.
Last year was the worst wildfire season in B.C. history.
Information officer Dorthe Jakobsen said cooler conditions across the region were the biggest factor in a relatively quiet season.
“We didn’t have the long, hot dry periods that we had last year,” she said.
“It was interrupted frequently by rainy days, cool days, sprinkles even help. But cool days definitely make a difference and the rain that we’ve had makes a huge difference.”
Meanwhile, a Category 2 burn ban has been in place in much of the Coastal Fire Centre since May 30.
The only area that it’s not in place is Haida Gwaii.
A Category 2 prohibition generally covers backyard or debris fires and any kind of burn barrels.
Jakobsen said the Coastal Fire Centre will be looking at lifting the Category 2 ban “soon” but couldn’t say exactly when that will happen.
“That’s up to the experts to decide when the timing is right on that,” she said.
And while it’s been a quiet fire season, Jakobsen is reminding you to stay vigilant in wooded areas.
“(You should) always practise best practices with campfires. Make sure they’re cold to the touch, all those sorts of things. It’s easier under the current conditions but it doesn’t mean that you couldn’t start a fire.”
The Coastal Fire Centre covers south coastal B.C., the most heavily populated area in the province.
This area encompasses approximately 16.5 million hectares of land, and includes the Sunshine Coast, and Vancouver Island.