British Columbia Forest Fires Settle Down

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 21 (UPI) — The number of new wildfires in British Columbia has dropped dramatically towards summer’s end, Canadian authorities said Monday.

“Compared to last month, it’s really quiet,” British Columbia wildfire spokesman Alyson Crouch said.

Just five new fires were reported during the weekend after a summer in which as many as 150 blazes flared each day in the province. Most of the fires were sparked by lightning or human negligence and then fed by dry, hot weather.

“We’re expecting warming and drying conditions next week but we don’t expect the really aggressive fires that we were seeing earlier in the season,” Crouch said.

It was the most active wildfire season in British Columbia since 2003, but so far has cost less and destroyed few acres.

The province spent $375 million fighting fires in 2003 and $346 million so far this year. In 2003, wildfires destroyed an estimated 655,000 acres and so far this year have destroyed about 558,000 acres, she said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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