(Phil McLachlan – Western News)

(Phil McLachlan – Western News)

Not much optimism from B.C.’s wildfire risk watchers

Significant lack of rainfall this year has southern Interior communities bracing for a rough season

Rainfall in the next three weeks is crucial if British Columbia hopes to avoid a devastating wildfire season, but the latest outlook from the BC Wildfire Service offers little optimism.

The service says rainfall and temperatures were near normal across the northern half of the province in May, but the same period was significantly drier than average throughout southern B.C.

Warmer and drier conditions are expected to persist in June across most of the south, while the wildfire service outlook says there’s no clear trend for the rest of the province.

The current wildfire danger rating shows most of the province at a “very low” or “low” risk, meaning wildfires can start but are unlikely to grow.

The outlook says  Kelowna and Vernon just set records for the least amount of spring rainfall, Kamloops saw its second-driest spring in more than a century and many southern communities received less than 40 per cent of expected precipitation.

Nearly 300 wildfires have been sparked in B.C. since April 1, which is higher than normal, and the wildfire service says If the conditions remain the same, southern B.C. can expect an above-average fire season.

“If the current weather trends continue, we can expect both the frequency and size of fires to increase as grass and other fine fuels start to `cure’ or dry out,” the outlook says.

Lightning strikes increase in July, raising the potential for natural fire starts, says the forest service, especially in areas where the highest fire hazard already exists, such as the Okanagan, Cariboo, and the southeastern corner and eastern side of the Rocky Mountains.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: Wildfire sparks near Highway 3 in Keremeos

RELATED: VIDEO: Kelowna fire crews train for wildfire season

bc wildfiresWeather

Just Posted

Langley standup comedian Susan Thompson said the cost of her return-to-Canada quarantine in hotel was more than she made during a working trip to the U.S. (Canadian Press/Special to Langley Advance Times)
An expensive return home for Langley standup comedian

Susan Thompson scored work in Las Vegas, but a compulsory hotel COVID quarantine put her in the red

New Langley dining establishment The Barley Merchant was staffing up to open. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
With dining-in back on the menu, Langley restaurants are getting busy again

With the end of the ‘circuit breaker,’ staff are being hired and new looks are being unveiled

Langley teen Julia Kang has a new cross-trainer, thanks to the Sunshine Foundation charity (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley teen forced indoors by pandemic can still work out, thanks to donation

Charity makes dream of indoor cross-trainer come true

In two years, Langley City businessman Loyd Fowler’s tax bill has gone from $9,000 to $12,000. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
City business tax hike ‘crazy,’ business owner says

In two years, Loyd Fowler’s bill went from $9,000 to $12,000

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Most Read