Wildfire Averages

The average number of wildfires that occur each year in British Columbia is usually given as 2,000, with half caused by people and half caused by lightning. However, as the actual number of wildfires and therefore average is different every year, this generalization is never totally accurate.

The current 10-year average*, taken from 2005 to 2014, is 1,756 fires, 39.8% caused by people and 60.2% caused by lightning.

The following table shows the number and percentage of person and lightning-caused fires for last year and the 10 preceding years.

Year Total Fires Total Hectares Total Cost (millions) Average Hectares per Fire Person-caused Person-caused (%) Lightning-caused Lightning-caused (%)
2015** 1,858 280,605 $277.0 204.9 617 (33.2%) 1,237 (66.6%)
2014 1,481 369,168 $297.9 249.3 664 (44.8%) 817 (55.2%)
2013 1,861 18,298 $122.2 9.8 564 (30.3%) 1,297 (69.7%)
2012 1,649 102,122 $133.6 61.9 708 (42.9%) 941 (57.1%)
2011 653 12,604 $53.5 19.3 444 (68%) 209 (32%)
2010 1,672 337,149 $212.2 201.6 680 (40.7%) 992 (59.3%)
2009 3,064 247,419 $382.1 80.8 881 (28.8%) 2,183 (71.2%)
2008 2,023 13,240 $82.1 6.5 848 (41.9%) 1,175 (58.1%)
2007 1,606 29,440 $98.8 18.3 687 (42.8%) 919 (57.2%)
2006 2,570 139,265 $159.0 54.2 1,034 (40.2%) 1,536 (59.8%)
2005 976 34,588 $47.2 35.4 591 (60.6%) 385 (39.4%)
Average* 1,756 130,329 $158.9 73.7 712.7 (39.8%) 1,062.8 (60.2%)

* The average does not include the most recent year.
** Figures for the most recent fire season are preliminary estimates.

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