Number of forest fires in Canada 2000-2018

This statistic shows the number of forest fires in Canada from 2000 to 2018. There were 7,067 forest fires in Canada in 2018.

Forest fires

Forest fires in Canada have burned an average of 2.3 million hectares annually since 2000. Forest fires or wildfires are named so because they occur in areas as woodlands, grasslands and scrublands. They are not confined to remote forest areas and can cause extensive property damage and threaten the lives of people who live in transitional areas between regions of human habitation and wilderness. Since 2000, forest fires have caused an estimated 3.76 million Canadian dollars annually. The recent major forest fire which began in Fort McMurray, Alberta is likely to be the most economically damaging disaster in Canada’s history, according to insurers. The fires have affected Alberta’s oil sands operations which have a significant impact on Canada’s GDP.

The Fort McMurray fire, like many forest fires is suspected to have been caused by human activities. Fires started by human can be intentional, in the case of arson, or accidental, such as failing to fully extinguish a camp fire or cigarette. The most common natural cause of forest fires is lightning strike, which accounted for 4,058 fires in 2018. All told, Canada experiences on average 6,850 forest fires each year.

Number of forest fires in Canada from 2000 to 2018

Number of fires
20187,067
20175,652
20165,203
20157,141
20145,158
20136,264
20127,956
20114,743
20107,291
20097,210
20086,278
20076,917
20069,820
20057,542
20046,680
20038,230
20027,861
20017,753
20005,349
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Source

Release date

April 2019

Region

Canada

Survey time period

2000 to 2018

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