Expired News - B.C. has already burned through most of its wildfire budget - The Weather Network
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Dry conditions continue across western Canada, but recent rain has brought some relief to the Slave Lake, Alta. area. On Monday, officials lifted fire permit suspensions in the area.

B.C. has already burned through most of its wildfire budget


Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, June 23, 2015, 1:05 PM - B.C.'s wildfire season has been brutal so far, with at least one fire burning tens of thousands of hectares as firefighters struggled to get it under control.

That fire, which started in May, was finally brought to 100 per cent containment, but the effort of bringing it, and other wildfires, under control was so strenuous, the province is rapidly coming up on the limits of its wildfire budget.

According to the CBC, B.C.'s Wildfire Management Branch has spent more than $52 million on firefighting, 80 per cent of the $63 million allotted for 2015.

In all, 62,000 hectares of B.C. land has burned, more than 50,000 of those in the Prince George area. Firefighters have battled a total of 500 wildfires as of the "official" start of the summer.

And there's almost certainly more to come. B.C.'s south coast has been bone dry for weeks, and wildfire risk in that area was listed as high to extreme, with not much improvement in the southern Interior.

Image: B.C. Wildfire Management Branch.

The neighbouring Prairie provinces have had their own wildfire struggles, but recent rain has brought some relief to the Slave Lake, Alta. area. On Monday, officials lifted fire permit suspensions in the area.

While the wildfire risk in the area is currently listed as low, the reprieve could be short-lived, with warm temperatures and sunshine expected for the remainder of the week.

Alberta is currently battling 27 wildfires. Since April 1, 2015, the province has witnessed 917 wildfires that have burned more than 90,184 hectares.


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Dry conditions have contributed to an active wildfire season.

"The whole Prairie region has been dry over the last two months," Trevor Hadwen, an agroclimate specialist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, told The Weather Network earlier this month.

"Lack of snowfall this past winter and an early spring and warm conditions very early took away all the moisture that the snow would normally provide."

Saskatchewan has seen an uptick in fire activity this year as well.

The province has seen 380 wildfires to date. There are currently 26 active wildfires in the province.

Sources: CBC NewsB.C. Wildfire Management Branch | Government of Saskatchewan | Government of Alberta

With files from Cheryl Santa Maria

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