Premier Christy Clark offered a public thank-you to BC Wildfire Service crews and staff Tuesday.
Provincial wildfire personnel faced an unusually busy fire season this year.
“It takes a special kind of courage to walk towards a fire, armed only with an ax and a can of gas. British Columbia owes a debt to BC Wildfire Service staff and crews for all the long hours, dedication, and bravery they showed during the 2015 fire season,” she said.
“They kept a lot of people safe and prevented a lot of families from losing their homes.”
The 2015 season started earlier than normal, with unseasonably hot temperatures and a higher than normal amount of lightning activity driving an increase in fire starts throughout the province.
Despite aggressive wildfire activity that challenged their efforts, provincial crews responded to over 1,800 fires and kept the vast majority of them small.
Total staff (full time and auxiliary) employed by the BC Wildfire Service for the 2015 season was just over 1,600. In addition, the province had support from over 800 contract firefighting personnel. Additional personnel were brought in to the province from across Canada as well as Australia, South Africa and the United States to assist.