Number of Human Caused Fires “Normal”
Prince George, B.C. – As of yesterday, there had been 942 wildfires in B.C. since April 1st, but most were sparked by lightning.
Of those fires, 507 have been confirmed to have been started by lightning, a further 364 have confirmed to have been human caused. Those numbers won’t add up to the total number of fires so far, because the causes have not yet been classified for a number of fires.
As it stands at the moment, where cause has been determined, 43.3% have been deemed the result of human activity ” That ratio is pretty bang on” says BC Wildfire Service Chief Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek. “Usually by the time we’ve reached the end of the season, we’re usually at about a 60-40 split, with 60% naturally occurring fires, to 40% human caused fires.”
He says most human caused fires happen early in the season when there isn’t typically a lot of lightning, “So usually we have a higher percentage of human caused fires at that point. Once we get into the summer and we see more lightning activity, things start to balance out a bit.”
Between 2006 and 2016, the average percentage of human caused fires in BC was 38.7%. The worst year within that time frame was 2011 when 68% of the fires were human caused. The lowest year was 2009, when 28.8% of all fires in the Province were caused by humans.