After back-to-back record-breaking wildfire seasons in B.C., the province is gearing up for another bad year.
In a wildfire season outlook released last week, the provincial government notes seasonal forecasts are predicting above-average temperatures and less-than-normal rainfall across the province. In concert with “significantly lower-than-average” snow pack levels, the province could be in for another summer of smoke and flame.
“Although the number of ignitions across the province will strongly depend on the number of lightning strikes, fuel and weather conditions are indicating a busier-than-normal season,” the province says.
The seasonal outlook was assessed by meteorologists and fire behaviour specialists taking into account a variety of factors.
“This includes accounting for conditions that affect soil moisture, fine fuel dryness and vegetation growth, which in turn influence the amount of fuel available for wildfires,” the outlook states.
“The severity of a fire season is highly dependent on local weather patterns such as timing and amount of precipitation, length of dry periods, thunderstorms, and wind events.”
The province says many fire starts at this time of year are human-caused, so it's important the public remains vigilant.
To date, 261 fires have burned 11,053 hectares in B.C., the majority occurring in the north.