10/03/2013 11:52 EDT | Updated 12/03/2013 05:12 EST

B.C. Wildfire Season 2013: More Fires, Fewer Trees Lost


KAMLOOPS, B.C. - British Columbia's Wildfire Management Branch endured a tense summer as record dry spells meant parched forests and the potential for a massive fire, but the season that began with such anxiety has ended on a positive note.

Branch spokesman Kevin Skrepnek says there were more fires this summer than last year, but far less timber was lost to the flames.

He says 1,800 fires were recorded in 2013, compared to the 1,500 sparked in 2012, but quick action kept the lid on this season's blazes.

The branch reports 17,000 hectares, or 170 square kilometres of woodland, burned this year compared to the 90,000 hectares — 900 square kilometres — charred in 2012.

Skrepnek says the province spent $134-million on fire suppression over the season.

He estimates final expenditures will fall to $118-million, once the province is paid an estimated $16-million for the cost of sending fire fighters to assist outside B.C. boundaries. (CHNL)

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