10/21/2012 06:07 EDT

BC Forest Fires 2012: Wildfire Comparison Over Last 5 Years


2012 saw a voracious forest fire destroy four houses in B.C.'s Okanagan and more than 1,500 people evacuated from the area around the town of Peachland in September.

However, this season was not the most destructive British Columbia has seen in the last five years. 2009 had almost double the number of forest fires compared to this year, as the infographic below shows.

In terms of homes lost, B.C.'s worst fire season was in 2003 when 2,473 fires burned 265,053 hectares at a cost of $371 million. In 2003, 959 or 38.8 per cent of fires were caused by humans, while 1514 or 61.2 per cent were sparked by lightning.

The Okanagan Mountain Park fire in August 2003 covered 25,600 hectares and forced the evacuations of 33,000 people. Over 230 homes were lost or destroyed.

The McLure fire that same summer consumed 26,240 hectares, damaged 72 homes and forced the evacuations of 3,800 people.

Infographic courtesy

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