2018 burns its way into top five B.C. wildfire seasons

Wildfires have burned their way through close to 400,000 hectares of British Columbia so far this year, making 2018 the fourth-largest fire season since 1950.

Lightning has caused more fires than any year since 2009

Wildfires have burned through nearly 400,000 hectares in B.C. this year. (B.C. Wildfire Service)

Wildfires have burned close to 400,000 hectares of British Columbia so far this year, making 2018 the fourth-largest fire season since 1950, data from the BC Wildfire service shows.

And there's still a month to go.

This comes a year after B.C.'s worst fire season on record.

This year's fires have burned through a land area that is larger than Metro Vancouver, but slightly smaller than Greater Montreal.

More than two-thirds of them were caused by lightning. 

In fact, lightning has already sparked more than 1,300 wildfires in B.C. this year, which is more than any year since 2009. That number is likely to increase as the extended weather forecast calls for continued hot and dry conditions, with the risk of thunderstorms in some parts of the province. 

While the number of human-caused fires has generally been on the decline, people were still responsible for starting more than 400 fires this year.

B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Here's the situation as of Aug. 14.

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, who declared a state of emergency in the province on Wednesday, said there are significant differences this year with the record-setting 1.2 million hectares that burned last year.

"This year we are dealing with fires all over the province, whereas last year they were concentrated in a number of areas, the Cariboo for example."

Here's a look at where the fires are burning now, and the areas of the province under evacuation order and alert.

Current wildfires

Evacuation orders and alerts

With files from Mike Laanela​​

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