Okanagan in 'hazard' fire conditions and rain is needed, says BC Wildfire | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Okanagan in 'hazard' fire conditions and rain is needed, says BC Wildfire

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July 07, 2021 - 6:00 PM

A hotter and drier start to summer has put fire season way ahead of schedule, according to BC Wildfire, and there’s no relief in sight.

“The latest monthly forecasts for July indicate a strong likelihood of warmer and dryer than normal conditions persisting across much of B.C.,” reads the seasonal outlook released today, July 7. 

“Grass and other surface fuels have been drying quickly, meaning that seasonal ‘green up’ is over for most parts of the province. With fine fuels now well cured, wildfire behaviour will be more typical of mid-July or August conditions.”

The dry forest, lack of June precipitation, and record-breaking heatwave will likely contribute to more fire growth.

The report indicates that all signs point to heightened wildfire activity well into July.

“Recent weather and fuel conditions have made initial attack challenging, meaning large fires will likely be occurring throughout the province,” BC Wildfire said.

“The Okanagan and southern Cariboo regions are showing very high hazard. Significant rain is required to reduce the hazard however none is forecast in the foreseeable future.”

This June, the Southern Interior only received 30% of normal June rainfall, while temperatures climbed steadily throughout the month culminating with that historic heatwave.

“The dryness and extreme heat raised fire dangers to critical levels which resulted in several large fires in Northeastern B.C. and the Central Interior,” BC Wildfire’s outlook update.

So far this year B.C. has had 689 fires, with roughly 318 occurring the week of June 28.

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