B.C. wildfire officials on alert as ‘volatile’ conditions expected by long weekend

North, Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island to rapidly dry out over next few weeks, officials say

With the rainy season petering out, provincial officials say rapid drying is expected across B.C. over the next couple of weeks, meaning the danger of wildfires is expected to soar.

“By the long weekend, we could see some pretty volatile conditions,” said Eric Meyer, superintendent of fire weather for the BC Wildfire Service.

He said the northeast and northwest parts of the province, along with the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, are expected to rapidly dry out. Many spots in the western half of the province are “significantly drier” than normal.

Meyer urged people doing activities in the forest to be extra cautious: “It won’t take much for a fire to get up and start and take off on them.”

What’s unknown is how much precipitation to expect.

“The day-to-day weather beyond these two weeks is really going to drive what the fire potential is for the remainder of the summer,” Meyer said.

Meanwhile, the province-wide snow pack is at 13 per cent of normal, still better than the same time last year, when it was at four per cent, according to Dave Campbell, head of the River Forecast Centre.

A hot stretch of weather from late March to early May resulted in a rapid melt-off of the mountain snow pack, he said.

As for possible drought, at least some parts of the province are expected to experience such conditions this summer, said Valerie Cameron, head of the province’s water stewardship program.

2015 was the most significant drought in recent memory,” Cameron said. “We’re hoping for a better year than we had last year.”

In the event of extremely dry conditions, she added, the province has new legislative powers to regulate water and water use.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Collaborative effort removes salmon farms from BC coast

The first farms to be removed were those in closest to the Ahta and Viner Rivers.

North Island Concert Society: Marc Atkinson Trio coming to the Civic Centre

The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 18 at the Port Hardy Civic Centre.

MP Blaney welcomes feedback on medical assistance in dying legislation

Over the next two weeks the Government of Canada is holding consultations… Continue reading

Picture perfect: Get the most from your wedding photography

Stop by the Comox Community Centre on Jan. 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.!

VIDEO: North Island Atom Eagles run over Victoria Racquet Club B2 Kings

“This team has come so far this year, from a tough time in tiering to where we are now”

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

BC Ferries hybrid ships arrive in Victoria on Saturday

The battery-operated vessels will take over smaller routes

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

Most Read