The alarming wildfire and drought conditions affecting communities across B.C. are not expected to ease significantly in the coming weeks, according to officials, as the province faces forecasts of more hot and dry weather.
Officials from the provincial government, B.C. Wildfire Service and River Forecast Centre provided an update Tuesday morning on the dual climate crises facing British Columbians this summer and said there will be more trying times ahead, beginning with a rise in temperatures this week.
“The models, they don’t look great for the rest of the summer,” Cliff Chapman, the director of wildfire operations for the B.C. Wildfire Service, told reporters.
As of this week, the 2023 season has already become the most destructive on record in terms of area burned, and there are still two months of summer left. By noon on Tuesday, nearly 14,000 square kilometres had gone up in flames, and 392 fires were active.
The vast majority of the 235 new fires that have started in the last seven days have been caused by lightning, according to Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness Bowinn Ma. Just 13 of those fires — or less than six per cent — were caused by human activity.
“I want to thank British Columbians for their incredible diligence over the last week,” she said.
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