McLure fire

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2003 McClure Barriere fire
LocationNorth Thompson River, British Columbia
Date(s)July 30, 2003 (2003-07-30)
Burned area65,285 acres (26,420 ha)
Land useParkland, Rural, Farmland
Buildings destroyed81

On July 30, 2003, a wildfire was started by a discarded cigarette in the hills behind McClure, British Columbia. The fire burned for 75 days, destroying 65,285 acres (26,420 ha) of forest and 81 structures (72 homes and 9 businesses).[1] The fire cost Can$31.1 million to extinguish and caused another 8.2 million dollars in property damage.[1] 3,800 people were evacuated from the communities of McClure, Barriere and Louis Creek.[2]

In 2005, former firefighter Michael Barre was found guilty of dropping the cigarette which started the fire. Barre was convicted in BC Provincial Court for the crime of dropping a burning substance within one kilometre of a forest.[3] Barre faced up to a $1 million fine and three years in prison, but was instead sentenced to pay a $3,000 fine.[4]


  1. ^ a b Kulig, J.C.; Kimmel, A.; Gullacher, A.; Reimer, B.; Townshend, I.; Edge, D.S.; Lightfoot, N.; McKay, M.; Barnett, M.; Clague, J.; Coghlan, A. (August 2010). McLure Fire: Lessons Learned (PDF) (Report). Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada: University of Lethbridge. p. 4.
  2. ^ "Major Historical Wildfires". Province of British Columbia. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  3. ^ Fong, Petti (8 November 2005). "Man guilty of igniting huge B.C. forest fire". The Globe and Mail. Kamloops, B.C. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  4. ^ "B.C. man fined $3,000 for starting giant wildfire". CBC News. 29 November 2005. Retrieved 27 August 2018.

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