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Rainfalls, public contributing to wildfire season’s slow start: expert

Wildfire season has been on the cooling side to begin 2017, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Since the beginning of April, Fire Information Officer Amanda Reynolds says local fire crews have responded to eight wildfires, burning only 12 hectares.

Map of all Fire Centres in British Columbia | BC Government

“This time last year, the Prince George Fire Centre had responded to over 90 wildfires which had burnt over 20,000 hectares. So we’ve definitely had a different start to the fire season then we did last year.”

The early number show an 80% decrease from 2016!

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Reynolds says the recent rainfalls have been the reason for the slow start, but she also credits the public for making smart decisions.

“We really appreciate the public’s diligence in making sure they aren’t burning, but that they’re following all the proper regulations in order to prevent wildfires, and making sure they’re getting the right registration numbers too.”

In BC as a whole, only 41 fires have occurred, a big downward trend compared to last year’s 200 fires.

Reynolds hopes the trend will continue, but adds it’s too hard for anyone to predict the future.

“We could have a very busy summer, but it’s too early to tell. One predictor indicator for us is looking at the June rates and looking at trends from years previous will help us predict what we think the wildfire season will be for 2017.”

She urges the public to continue to report any blaze, big or small, to the BC Wildfire Service as the warmer weather approaches.

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