The BC government is preparing for 2019’s wildfire season

Maria Vinca / May 13, 2019

2018 fire in Prince George
(Caden Fanshaw / BCIT Journalism)

BC’s government is preparing for 2019’s wildfire season

The last two years are remembered as some of the worst wildfire seasons in British Columbia’s history.

The government is moving forward with new fire prevention strategies, programs and funding to help fight against wildfires this year.

According to BC Wildfire Service, there’s been a total of 161 fires since the start of 2019 but they continue to alert residents on current wildfire updates.

According to Fire Chief Kevin Skrepnek, this season’s wildfires aren’t much different than last year’s.

“This isn’t far off from average- it has generaly been a fairly quiet spring so far.” -Kevin Skrepnek, Chief Fire Information Officer Position

Current Wildfires across BC 

There are over 21 fires burning across BC, with the largest fire in Fraser Lake, west of Prince George. The fire was 70 percent guarded but zero percent contained as of Sunday. BC Wildfire Services says there are no threats to buildings in the area.

Crews are also guarding a 19-hectare blaze 25 kilometers west of  Kamloops, while helicopters are assisting firefighters on the ground.

The fire activity has slowed down due to dropping temperatures.

Inferno Map of BC
( Luke Mcgrath / BCIT Journalism

Fire danger zones 

This map shows the various fire danger levels across the province
(BC Wildfire Service)

Interested in what areas are most in danger?

This map shows the danger zones from low to high and as you can see, Lower Mainland is also at high risk of wildfires.

According to BC Wildfire Services, the ratings are moderate-high as forest fuels are drying and theres an increased risk of fires starting.  They are requesting people to be more cautious going outdoors as warmer temperatures continue to rise.

Not everyone think’s the government is doing enough

But through all the preparation, some forest firefighters still think there’s more work to be done.

Jesse Chamberlain says there should be preparation done outside of wildfire season before the blazes even begin, to prevent infernos from completely wiping out BC’s forests.

“Unless we manage those areas more efficiently, were going to have more fires”Jesse Chamberlain Former Forest Firefighter

Here’s more on Caden Fanshaw’s For The Record interview with Jesse Chamberlain on BC Wildfires