VANCOUVER – High temperatures, low humidity and increased winds are making wildfire conditions challenging in southern British Columbia, the provincial deputy forest minister says.
Rick Manwaring said it is not raining, temperatures are rising and strong winds are likely in many parts of southern BC.
“The relative humidity decreases with heat and the activity on these fires increases,” he told a news conference on Thursday.
Humidity is one of the biggest factors in wildfire behavior and at this time of year, crews are looking for what they call “recovery,” Manvering said.
“Therefore, as the sun goes down in the evening and night approaches, the relative humidity begins to climb to the base of the land, and wildfire activity decreases,” he said.
He said firefighters usually take advantage of the cooler temperatures at night to set up guards and take advantage of the reduced fire. But this year, they haven’t seen much drop in temperature or increase in humidity, especially in the south-central part of the province, he said.
“We are seeing continued fire behavior throughout the night and this really limits our ability to progress into the evening period outside the burning cycle.”
BC Wildfire Information Officer Erica Berg said cooler temperatures are expected through Sunday, but wind is also forecast, as well as the threat of dry lightning.
He said the service is preparing for more activity on some of the approximately 270 wildfires currently burning, as well as the potential for new fires.
Thirty fires are ranked as dangerous or highly visible, including the 580 square kilometer White Rock Lake wildfire between Kamloops and Vernon.
Aggressive development has already destroyed homes and businesses in Monte Lake, Westwold and Bouleau Lake, and the flames are now challenging workers working to protect properties at the edge of the fire near the northwest shore of Lake Okanagan. Giving.
An evacuation order was issued Thursday for the district of Logan Lake asking about 2,000 residents to leave the area immediately as the Tremont Creek wildfire broke out. Logan Lake is approximately 300 kilometers northeast of Vancouver.
BC has more than 50 evacuation orders and more than 100 evacuation alerts posted, meaning residents need to prepare to leave with little notice.
The province says more than 6,500 square kilometers have been burned since the wildfire season began on April 1.
Manwaring said they were starting to gain some control over the fires in the Prince George and Cariboo areas, but that some larger blazes could take some time.
“But to be honest, some of these big fires in the south-central interior, we’re going to fight these until the snow falls.”
by Hina Alam
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times