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B.C. sets all-time record for area burned with months left in wildfire season |

British Columbia’s 2023 wildfire season has set a destructive new record, with more hectares scorched than in any year on record.

The BC Wildfire Service said Monday that 1,181 fires across the province have burned more than 1.393 million hectares to date — an area about the same size as the Bahamas.

That figure eclipses the 1.354 million hectares burned by 2,117 fires in the historic 2018 wildfire season. The province spent $615 million fighting fires that year, the third most expensive fire season in modern history.

The 2023 figure is also nearly 3.5 times as large as the 10-year average for hectares burned, with months yet to go in the season and the province warning of the potential of a record drought.

Click to play video: 'Securing enough firefighting resources for B.C. wildfire season'

Securing enough firefighting resources for B.C. wildfire season

Currently, there are 384  fires burning across the province, including 22 wildfires listed as visible or threatening enough to be considered “fires of note.”

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British Columbia’s northeast has felt the brunt of the 2023 season, with 388 fires recorded in the Prince George Fire Centre by July 17.

That includes the mammoth Donnie Creek wildfire, the largest-ever fire in modern B.C. history.

That fire remains out of control, and at over 583,000 hectares has scorched more than a third of the territory burned so far this year since its discovery on May 12.

Nationally, Canada is already facing its worst-ever wildfire season on record, with more than 10 million hectares of land burned.

The dubious records come the same month the Earth recorded its hottest-ever week, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

Experts have warned that as climate change continues to warm the planet, wildfire seasons will grow longer and more destructive.

You can find up to date information on the largest and most active fires across the province here.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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