BC wildfires: Slow start to season, but some concern for northwest

The BC Wildfire Service said the fire season was below average, but warmer and drier conditions were looming in the northern third of the state.

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The district’s wildfire service forecast is one of the happiest in BC, to see the beginning of a wet summer.

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So far, the fire season has been below average, due to heavy rainfall and below normal temperatures last month, according to Matt McDonald of the BBC Wildlife Service.

McDonald’s predicted that cold month and said he was delighted to see it come true.

It was wet enough to destroy the effects of several years of summer drought and caused less fires than usual.

McDonald’s said that by 2022, the most common wildfire will occur, with nearly 60,000 attacks reported. This is an average of about 1,000 over 20 years, but a lot of snow on the ridges and a lot of greenery didn’t cause a lot of harmful fires.

In the 2021 tropical drought, there were 110 lightning fires, and only 30 new fires have been reported this year. And they have burned less than 10 percent of the historical average this year.

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In all, there have been 217 wildfires since July 4, an average of half a year.

Warm, dry in the north

However, it has been slightly hotter and drier north of BC, so there is some risk in the Northwest and Prince George Fire Centers in the coming weeks, McDonald said.

Just last weekend, lightning struck 11 new forest fires, with a total of 14 burning in the upper third of the state.

And the weather forecast is above average in July and mid-August. It’s not as hot as 2021, but the average temperature should be one or two degrees above average, which is “definitely interesting,” McDonald said.

He said timely response to new fires would be key to reducing wildfires in northern fire stations in the coming weeks.

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Also, the weather is a wild card, forecasts are not perfect for many weeks to come.

The area from Cassier to Fort Nelson is very worrying with the current situation, “McDonald said.

Long distances, it is difficult to predict how dry the forest will be because most of the summer rains come from small thunderstorms, which are unpredictable weeks in advance, he said.

Workers who help outside BC

Forest Minister Katherine Conroy, for his part, said the slow onset of the BC firefight had helped sailors in other regions.

She said there are more than 100 workers in Yukon and Alaska, who live in extreme heat and drought, unlike their neighbors in the south.

She said more than 900 out-of-state workers came to BC during last year’s challenging wildfires, so it’s good to be able to thank her.

She also said BC has a firefighting fund that communities can apply to develop firefighting projects. The money flowing into the BC Wildfire Service is also moving into full-year service, Conroy said.

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