Wildfire Potential Increasing
Prince George, B.C. – Warm and dry weather is expected to continue for much of the province for at least the next week as a high pressure ridge blankets British Columbia. And that means conditions are ripe for a possible increase in wildfire activity.
Fire Information Officer Amanda Reynolds says “we definitely have a ridge that has been building and we’ve been having some warm temperatures this week. That is going to go into this weekend and our forecasters are predicting that we’ll be going into another warm week.”
She says “we have had some new lightning starts up in the northeast part of our fire zone. They’re small in size and we’ve got resources on those fires but, with this ridge, we’re going to be going back up to high or possibly extreme fire danger ratings, especially up in the northeast part of the province.”
Reynolds says things are heating up from Prince George west to the coast as well. “Yes, Vanderhoof has been getting warmer and we’ve got trends that have five to seven days with no precipitation and when we’re still having these summer days it doesn’t take long for those fuels to dry out.”
So what advice does she have for those camping and travelling in the region? “We’re just reminding the public that if they’re going into the back country to be extra vigilant, making sure that campfires are completely extinguished, making sure that they bring sufficient amounts of water and a hand tool to put out the fire. And making sure that it is regulation size, half a metre by half a metre. And if you’re out using your ATV or dirt bike, make sure that you’re not idling near any tall grass, because those sparks could potentially start a wildfire.”
Reynolds says it has been relatively quiet in terms of wildfires in the region in recent weeks, thanks to the weather. “Ya that rain that we had in June and July has definitely made the fuels less combustible, but we are going into this trend and if we continue into this warm, dry trend without precip, we could potentially get back up to those large fires.”
“But at this point they’re just small I.A. (Initial Attack) targets and we haven’t had any fires that we had up in the Peace region in early April and May.”