One of the fires that burned this summer in the Southeast Fire District near Nelson.

One of the fires that burned this summer in the Southeast Fire District near Nelson.

CHARTS: B.C.’s wildfire season was third worst in past 10 years

Premier thanks firefighters, honours tree faller who died battling fire near Sechelt with good citizenship medal

This year’s wildfire season was the third worst in the past decade.

More than 306,000 hectares burned, according to new statistics from the B.C. Wildfire Service.

That was not as high as the 337,000 hectares burned in 2010 or the 369,000 in 2014.

Nor was it as expensive as some recent years.

Fighting the more than 1,800 wildfires this year cost nearly $278,000, compared to more than $370,000 in both 2003 and 2009.

Provincial officials said good initial attack by firefighting crews succeeded in keeping many of the fires small and contained despite aggressive wildfire activity.

About 31 per cent of this year’s wildfires were human-caused and therefore preventable. Those fires burned more than 57,000 hectares.

  • See interactive charts below for more details.

Premier Christy Clark thanked firefighters for their efforts Tuesday.

The premier also posthumously honoured John Phare, a Roberts Creek tree faller who died this summer fighting a fire near Sechelt, with B.C.’s first Medal of Good Citizenship.

The family of the 60-year-old father of three was at the Legislature Tuesday to receive the medal.

“John Phare died protecting the lives of his friends, neighbours and family,” Clark said. “We can’t ease the pain of everyone who loves and misses him, but we can recognize his courage and sacrifice.

I can’t think of a more deserving recipient of the first Medal of Good Citizenship.”

The medal honours those who have made outstanding contributions to the well-being of their communities. Nominations closed Oct. 2 and more recipients are to be named.

Wildfire stats 2015 | Create infographics

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