An alarming tally of twenty-one wildfires are currently raging unabated on Vancouver Island, the biggest of which covers an area exceeding 23 square kilometres. Strathcona Provincial Park is the unfortunate host to over half of these uncontrolled infernos, including the vast Mount Con Reid fire, which had consumed about 2,320 hectares, or 23.2 square kilometres, by Tuesday morning.
The B.C. Wildfire Service states that most of the fires ravaging the island originated from lightning strikes and pose minimal risk to human life and property owing to their isolated settings.
Garnering attention is a formidable 10-hectare fire to the west of Cowichan Lake, which has elicited a “modified” reaction from the provincial wildfire service. This involves careful management of the fire to curtail costs and damage, while simultaneously harnessing the ecological benefits that can be derived.
The island’s predicament is a part of a broader situation currently affecting British Columbia (B.C.), with a total of 430 fires fiercely raging across its expanse. This season alone has registered over 2,080 fires, according to the fire service.
Out of the ongoing 347 wildfires in B.C., the majority are suspected to be the work of lightning, while human activity accounts for 24. The causes for an additional 59 fires remain ambiguous.
The wildfire service reveals a sobering fact that over 22,200 square kilometres, an area sizeable enough to swallow entire cities, has been victim to the unrelenting fires in B.C. this season. Such is the grave reality of wildfire outbreaks in recent times.