Canadian Forest Service forecasting average to slightly elevated summer wildfire risking the Peace

The Siphon Creek fire on May 18, 2016. Photo Courtesy: B.C. Wildfire Service

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Officials with the Canadian Forest Service say that while there might be a slightly elevated wildfire risk in Northeast B.C. through at least part of the summer, there isn’t much of a risk of seeing a repeat of what the Peace Region experienced two year ago, or what the Cariboo saw last summer.

Fire research analyst RIchard Carr says that the higher than average snowpack in Northeast B.C. and the below seasonal temperatures mean that the forests and ground will take some time to dry out this Spring. Carr added that the above-normal precipitation amounts in the Peace also contributed to below-normal fire activity last summer, but that if we don’t see another rainy spring and early summer, there could be an elevated fire risk by June.

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Carr added however that the forecast isn’t calling for the same lack of precipitation that is forecast for the rest of the province. He said that much of Southern B.C. could see an above average risk of fires once again, while the overall risk for the Northeast is closer to average.

The over 1 million hectares of forests that burned in the province last year set a new provincial record as the worst-ever wildfire season in 60 years.

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