Summer forest fire prognosis still uncertain

Vegetation growth accelerated by the wet conditions could turn into bountiful forest fire fuel

The moisture on the ground and in the air this spring could be a precursor to a difficult forest fire campaign this summer.

Justine Hunse, with the B.C. Wildlife Service, said the vegetation growth accelerated by the wet conditions could turn into bountiful forest fire fuel when the expectant Okanagan summer heat wave takes hold traditionally in July, August and sometimes into September.

“The grass levels are something we monitor and we also gather data from the 200 weather monitoring stations across the province, but at this time of the year it’s difficult for us to predict what the severity of the upcoming fire season will be,” said Hunse.

“Once the typical June rains subside towards the end of the month, we’ll have a better idea about what the intensity of the fire season might look like.”

Currently, Hunse said within the Kamloops Fire Zone, which includes the Okanagan, there have been 54 forest fires, three which remain active, and 54 hectares burned.

That is down from last year at this time, where 57 fires had occurred burning up 201 hectares.

On Tuesday crews from the B.C. Wildfire Service responded to a fire off of Westside Road near Blue Grouse mountain, which as of Tuesday afternoon was 2.5 hectares in size.

Check kelownacapnews.com for updates to the fire.

“It’s significantly lower for forest fires at this point in the season and the rain is a factor in that,” Hunse said, noting that traditionally it only takes a short string of hot, dry summer days for those ground fuels to dry out.

Campfires are still permitted at this point while all other category 2 or 3 open burning will be prohibited as of noon Thursday.

Just Posted

Cougar spotted near Okanagan elementary school

Cougar sighting near Peter Greer Elementary in Lake Country

Three car accident on Enterprise

Emergency crews in Kelowna have responded to Enterprise and Cooper for a three car accident

Work starts on controversial Kelowna visitor centre site

The $2.8 million waterfront building at the foot of Queensway is slated for completion next summer

UPDATE: Pedestrians healing from incident at ‘dangerous’ Kelowna cross walk

Emergency officials responded to a cross walk that neighbours say is unsafe Saturday evening

Okanagan couple reunited with stolen camera day after Mounties release pictures

A local couple will soon be reunited with some stolen property.

New multi-million baggage system up and running at YLW

Kelowna Airport’s $39 million outbound baggage system can handle 900 bags an hour

B.C. family advocating for drug decriminalization following death of son

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has noted the New Democrats would decriminalize personal possession of all drugs

Court adjourned for man linked to Shuswap farm where human remains found

UPDATED: Curtis Sagmoen appears in court Nov.23

Public against wildfire monument in Kamloops

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District announced the monument to commemorate volunteers’ efforts

Warriors send Porter to Maritimes

Goalie Cody Porter dealt to junior A team in Amherst, Nova Scotia

Students exposed to science of genomics

Geneskool program presented at Kelowna and Oliver high schools this week

Charge laid against B.C. man in alleged cat torture

Joshua Michael Lemire, 20, has been charged with one count of causing unnecessary pain/suffering to an animal.

Oxford Dictionary responds by video to Victoria boy’s bid for levidrome

William Shatner tweet garners attention of Oxford

Site C allows more wind, solar energy, experts say

Lawyer, economist argue for completion of B.C. Hydro dam

Most Read