Blazing through B.C.

"It's been a relatively good year for us, despite relatively dry weather." That's what Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell said last Monday about the state of the province's wildfires, according to The Vancouver Sun. "But at this point, there's another full month. Looking at current weather patterns, it could be a tough month," he allowed. And it may be tougher than you think. Here's why: by this date last year, fires had engulfed 67,195 hectares during a forest fire season Mr. Bell's ministry later described as being "one of the worst in B.C.'s history." By comparison, the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre Inc. reports 73,222 hectares have been burned so far this year, even though the number of fires is lower. Which means those blazes are actually more severe than last year's.

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