Donnie Creek wildfire

November 22, 2023

Kaileen McCulloch

Kaileen McCulloch

Software Developer

Fire perimeters of the North Slave fire complex fire
Fire Number: G80280
Discovery Date: May 12, 2023 at 17:58
Size: 619,072.5 ha
Status: Under Control
Last Updated: September 28, 2023

The Donnie Creek wildfire was the largest recorded wildfire in British Columbia to date, estimated at 619,072 hectares. It is situated in the Northeast corner of BC and is actually one among many wildfires that occurred in that region this year. Interestingly, there was another wildfire (#G90288) in the same area that was even larger than the Donnie Creek fire, last estimated at 768,915 hectares, however it spans multiple provinces and territories are therefore doesn't count as the largest in BC.

If we zoom out we can see that fire #G90288 is actually just a subset of one we might assume to be a continuous fire stretching east within the NWT. Although we share provincial resources we still divide fires between provinces which is really interesting when trying to look at fire stats. So if we remove the borders and just look at these fires as a regional complex then the order by fire size puts the Donnie Creek fire to only the third largest.

Fire #G090288 perimeter highlighted among a large fire complex
The four biggest fire perimeter by hectare
  1. 1,362,371 ha (more than twice the size of PEI)
  2. 798,468 ha (slightly more than the GTA)
  3. 619,072 ha (slightly under the size of Ottawa)
  4. 438,044 ha (just under the size of Montreal)

** Disclaimer: fire sizes are approximated from burned area perimeters generated from satellite detected hotspots **