B.C. wildfires

Holly Chandler from Toronto covers her mouth with a handkerchief. Photo by Jason Payne/The Vancouver Sun

Holly Chandler is at Whistler Village. She covers her mouth with a handkerchief.
Photo by Jason Payne/The Vancouver Sun

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun by Nila Gopaul
Level 3
Click here for active wildfires in B.C.

Whistler is open for business.
Summer is a busy season for the resort.
Over 2 million visitors come to the town
each year.

Whistler started a ski resort,
but now there are more visitors in the summer
than in the winter.

Holly Chandler is a realtor in Toronto.
She was excited about her holiday
to Whistler this summer.
She came to Whistler to mountain bike,
walk and swim.
But now she is staying indoors.

Smoke from the Elaho and Boulder Creek forest fires
is drifting to Whistler Village.
Holly compares the air quality to Beijing.
“I was there (Beijing) about 10 years ago.
Just like this. It’s crazy.
Who would have thought? You’re basically smoking.”

On Tuesday, Environment Canada warned people
with health problems to stay indoors.
The smoke is especially dangerous for babies, seniors
and people who have diabetes, lung and heart disease.

b.c.-wildfires-boulder-creek

Fire burning at Bolder Creek, B.C.
Photo by BCWILDFIRES.CA

Dry, hot weather increases the danger of wildfires.
This year has been the driest summer since 2003.

Over 200 fires are burning around B.C. right now.
There have been over 950 wildfires this season.

About 2,000 people are helping to fight B.C. wildfires.
Fire crews from Ontario and Australia
have joined B.C. fire crews.
So far fighting these fires has cost B.C.
over $100 million.

Each year, about 2,000 wildfires happen in B.C.
Lightning and people cause fires.

Year Total Fires Total Hectares Total Cost (millions) Average Hectares
per Fire
People-Caused Lightning-Caused
2014 1484 369,169 $297.9 248.8 664 (44.8%) 819 (55.2%)
2013 1861 18,298 $122.2 9.8 564 (30.3%) 1297 (69.7%)
2012 1649 102,122 $133.6 61.9 708 (42.9%) 941 (57.1%)
2011 653 12,604 $53.5 19.3 444 (68%) 209 (32%)
2010 1672 337,149 $212.2 201.6 680 (40.7%) 992 (59.3%)
2009 3064 247,419 $382.1 80.8 881 (28.8%) 2183 (71.2%)
2008 2023 13,240 $82.1 6.5 848 (41.9%) 1175 (58.1%)
2007 1606 29,440 $98.8 18.3 687 (42.8%) 919 (57.2%)
2006 2570 139,265 $159.0 54.2 1034 (40.2%) 1536 (59.8%)
2005 976 34,588 $47.2 35.4 591 (60.6%) 385 (39.4%)
2004 2394 220,518 $164.6 92.1 681 (28.4%) 1713 (71.6%)
Average * 1847 115,464 $145.5 58.0 710.1 39.0% 1106.3 61.0%

* The average does not include the most recent year.
Source: http://bcwildfire.ca

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