(BC Wildfire Service/Black Press Files) The number of wildfires in the Southeast Fire Centre jurisdiction have nearly doubled from last year, though they remain far below what was experienced in 2016.

Southeast Fire Centre wildfires to date nearly double last year’s count

Nearly twice as many wildfires have occurred in the region this year than had last season according to the Southeast Fire Centre.

There have been 16 wildfires since April 1 within the Southeast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, with a total of 30 hectares burned. Fourteen of these fires were reported to have been started by humans, while the other two were caused by lightning, said the Wildfire Newsletter.

Last year at this time, there were nine reported wildfires with a total of two hectares burned. Eight of these fires were reported to have been human caused.

However, 2016 saw far more wildfires at this early stage of the season, with 29 fires burning a total of 88 hectares, 25 of which were reported to be caused by humans.

The jurisdiction of the Southeast Fire Centre is approximately 8.2 million hectares, extending from the U.S. border in the south to the Mica Dam in the north, and the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west to the Alberta border in the east.

Along with the statistics, the newsletter featured information on prescribed burning, describing how controlled burns can work as a fuel management technique, as well as the importance of reintroducing fire into B.C. areas as a natural component of ecosystems.

RELATED: Prescribed burns an important part of fire prevention for the Southeast Fire Centre

The newsletter also included information on the jointly conducted April 26 prescribed burn in the Rocky mountain trench, in which the B.C. Wildfire Service and ʔaq̓am First Nations conducted a 565-hectare burn North of Cranbrook.

According to the newsletter, the burn was part of an ecological restoration effort to “bring the landscape back to its historical range of variability.”

Currently, there are no active fires within the Southeast Fire Centre.

Last week, B.C. Wildfire Services fought a small wildfire northwest of Revelstoke near Perry River, which was quickly reported to be under control. The fire is suspected to have been human-caused.

Related: Crews fight small wildfire between Malakwa and Revelstoke

Province-wide, there have been 241 fires this year, burning a total area of 34,370 hectares.

For more information on fire prevention and responsible fire use, visit firesmartcanada.ca.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation call 1-800-663-5555 or dial *5555 on a cellphone.


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