01/27/2016 03:22 EST | Updated 01/27/2016 03:59 EST

B.C. Wildfire Service Sees Applications Surge After Record-Breaking Season

BC Forest Fire Info/Facebook

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — There is no shortage of candidates to fill the estimated 200 vacant positions expected this summer with the B.C. Wildfire Service.

Provincial information officer Kevin Skrepnek says just under 1,500 applications were received by the Jan. 24 deadline.

He says the number is above average, exceeding applications received in 2015.

READ MORE: What Fires Look Like From The Front Lines

But Skrepnek notes submissions usually climb in the year following a busy fire season.

More than 1,800 blazes were recorded during what the Wildfire Service calls a ``major'' season in 2015, with homes lost in Rock Creek and Puntzi Lake, while total fire fighting costs topped $282-million.

Successful 2016 Wildfire Service applicants must first survive a rigorous interview and screening process before being invited to boot camps slated for Merritt in April and May. (CHNL)

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