FACT CHECK: No, Video Does Not Show Canada’s Wildfires Were Planned

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A TikTok video shared on Instagram purports the recent wildfires in Canada were planned.

Verdict: False

The original video, uploaded to YouTube by the British Columbia Wildfire Service (BCWS), shows a planned ignition in response to the Donnie Creek Wildfire. A spokesperson for the BCWS confirmed a planned ignition occurred in response to the wildfire via an email to Check Your Fact.

Fact Check:

The recent wildfires in Canada are believed to be the result of warm, dry conditions and lightning strikes, according to CBS News. Smoke from the fires impacted the air quality in 18 U.S. cities, including New York, NBC News reported.

“It was a set up,” text overlay on the Tik Tok video shared via Instagram purports. The video, liked over 1,000 times, includes a clip of a helicopter setting fire to a forest. The BCWS logo is visible in the bottom right corner of the clip.

The claim is false. The original video, uploaded to YouTube by the BCWS, shows a planned ignition in response to the Donnie Creek Wildfire.

“The BC Wildfire Service continues to respond to the Donnie Creek wildfire within the Prince George Fire Centre,” the video’s caption reads in part. The BCWS indicates it performed two successful planned ignitions on Jun. 1 and 2, which “secured 55 kilometers of line along the south flank of the fire.”

A Jun. 8 update on the Donnie Creek Wildfire that has been posted to the entity’s website reveals the fire’s estimated size is 352,678 hectares. (RELATED: Does Viral Video Show The Nova Kakhovka Dam Being Blown Up?)

In addition, Check Your Fact found no credible news reports suggesting the fires were planned.

“You are correct. The clip you shared includes footage from a British Columbia Wildfire Service planned ignition that took place June 1-2 on the Donnie Creek Wildfire in northeastern British Columbia,” a spokesperson for the entity told Check Your Fact via email.

“Planned ignitions are an essential and effective tool we use to help contain very large wildfires. When the decision is made to conduct such a burn operation, the wildfire is usually beyond the initial attack stage. The goal is to remove the majority of available fuel ahead of the wildfire so there’s less fuel available for the wildfire to burn. This strategy slows down and helps limit the spread of the wildfire,” the spokesperson said.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter