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October 27, 2017 11:14 pm

Early Start to Wildire Season No Surprise Says Prof

Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 6:00 AM

Prince George, B.C. – The fact this year’s wildfire season has arrived about three weeks early should come as no surprise.

That from Dr. Phil Burton, professor of ecosystem science management at the University of Northern British Columbia.

“We’ve been seeing that trend for the last 15-30 years really. I’ve seen some statistics where we’re even finding fires in the southern half of the province as early as February.”

So what does he attribute it to?

“It’s consistent with the general trend of a warming climate, of climate change. The advent of the snow free period is one of those key indicators that is very sensitive – much like glacial retreat – to the overall changes over large areas.”

He suggests there’s room for better planning in helping deal with the issue.

“We knew that this was going to be a strong El Nino year as far back as last September. So if agencies can plan to allocate resources when they know we’re going to have a mild winter with a low snowpack and an early snow melt, that might help.”

Burton contines: “A certain degree of awareness needs to be “the new normal for residents, for residents and for forest managers. So heads up everybody.”


While I think the BC Wildfire team has done a good job to assist with the fires in the north they sure slacked at preparing for any type of emergency before hand. All those fires starting at once this early had to be overwhelming I get that but the forest service should have known how dry it would become if warm temps continued in March and throughout April if the snowpack was so little.

    I fully agree with you. Unfortunately the forest service is limited by an underfunded budget, therefore they were forced to “roll the dice” in the hopes that things would not progress so fast… poor gamble I guess.

    Tip of the hat to the fire crews themselves. It is a hard and dangerous job that they do, and they do it well. Wont be any lack of work for them this year by the looks of it so far!

Where you do slash burning late in the fall. the fire is smoldering away all winter as well, so at a first chance with lots of oxygen. poof, we can have a fire in February in the north as well.

Considering a lot of the fire fighters are still in their last week of school and this is typically training month, the fire centre got caught with their pants down for the second year in a row.

I think BC Needs to revalutate for next year with a better prepairness plan.

    ” …. got caught with their pants down for the second year in a row.”

    It seems to me this is what preparedness for “global warming” is all about, no matter what people think may be the cause of the current tendency.

    Given the MPB events of the past decade+ and variabilities of the fire season, one would think that some adjustments would have been made to accommodate the environmental changes.

No early fire season back east.

Considering an el nina is starting up, the warm blob off the coast is dissipating, the cooling phase of the PDO is under way, the suns energy has backed off a bit it looks good for long underwear futures.

And yesterday I spotted 4 people, with their cigarettes in their hands out their car windows flicking ashes without a care in the world. I just shake my head at the stupidity of these people.

Another captain obvious spewing verbal diarrhea.

There’s room for better planning in helping deal with lightning strikes.

I think the forestry crews do a pretty good job with what resources they have.

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