FORT ST. JOHN -- Despite predictions early this spring, Northeast B.C. is seeing a slower start to wildfire season than last year.

According to the BC Wildfire Service, there have been 71 fires in Northeast B.C. from April to June of this year.

At this same time last year, there were 80 reported fires in the Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, and Fort Nelson Fire Zones.

As of today, just over 319,000 hectares of land has been burned in 2024.

Last year at this time, the Peace Region saw almost double that, with 614,342 hectares burned impart due the Donnie Creek Wildfire, the largest recorded wildfire in B.C.'s history.

So far this year, there have been 12 Evacuation Alerts and six Evacuation Orders, down from 37 alerts and 31 orders for the same period in 2023.

A full breakdown of information provided by the Prince George Fire Centre is as follows:

April 1st to June 11th 2023:

Number of Fires - 80

Hectares Burned - 614,342

Evacuation Alerts - 37

Evacuation Orders – 31

April 1st to June 11th 2024:

Number of Fires - 71

Hectares Burned – 319,093

Evacuation Alerts - 14

Evacuation Orders – 6

On March 18, 2024, officials urged British Columbians to prepare evacuation plans, saying that a forecasted warmer and drier spring than usual and low snowpack could spell trouble for the season ahead.

Category 2 and 3 open fire bans covering the Prince George and Cariboo fire centres remain in place, after starting at noon on March 28.