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

Journey Middle School students try out the trades

Program is designed to expose students to career options

Province’s oldest lawyer shares advice for living well at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Saanich swaps last propane-powered Zamboni for electric model

Pearkes arena’s all-electric ice resurfacing fleet to reduce carbon emissions by six tonnes

VIDEO: Traffic snarled during Friday evening rush hour, now clear

Traffic was backed up all over Greater Victoria

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

VIDEO: Dashcam records driver’s near-miss near Sooke

Driver crossed four lanes of traffic and back over again, barely missing three other vehicles

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

Mayors call for ‘calmness’ as highway rockslide cuts Tofino, Ucluelet off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

Most Read