Fire season in region comes in at less than half of average
By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily
The number of fires that burned in the West Kootenay region this year was less than half of the 10-year average, with even fewer hectares than anywhere else in the province succumbing to forest fire blazes, according to the Southeast Fire Centre.
There were only 227 fires that were reported and fought in the entire Southeast Fire Centre region in 2010 — which includes the West Kootenay — with a paltry 1,299 hectares burned.
Paltry, because in comparison with the 10-year average for the region that number is less than half of the 475 blazes that typically light up in the Southeast region. The current numbers show a marked drop from 2009 where 560 fires were recorded and 3,948 ha. were burned.
The 2010 Southeast portion is a tiny fraction of the provincial total for this year, with 1,674 fires that burned and 331,350 ha. in total for the year. Out of the six provincial fire centres, the Southeast region had by far the least amount of hectares burned, far less than the 168,542 ha. that burned in the Cariboo region.
The Coast (203 fires) and the North West (170 fires) were the only other of the six fire centres that had a lower number of fires.
The amount of money used to fight those fires also dropped significantly, with around $5 million spent in the Southeast region in 2010, compared to $11 million in 2009.
In 2010, 174 fires were lightning caused while 53 were caused by people. Last year, people caused 86 fires and lightning was fingered as the culprit in 474 others.