Unseasonably quiet fire season continues, hot weather coming

By Chad Klassen
June 19, 2017 - 6:15pm Updated: June 19, 2017 - 8:20pm

KAMLOOPS — It's a fire season that so far has proven unusually quiet.

The wet spring in Kamloops, with record rainfall, means there is less threat of fire in the backcountry.

"To date, the Kamloops Fire Centre has responded to 28 fires with a total of 56 hectares burned," said fire information officer Jody Lucius. "That compares to 62 fires [at this time] last year with 210 hectares burned."

The most significant fire in the region happened in West Kelowna last week with a 2.5 hectare blaze believed to have started by an unattended campfire. 

There's been no such activity in Kamloops with the wet spring. 

"We do rely on the June rains to help us forecast what the rest of the fire season might look like," said Lucius. "This year, we've had some rain in June. However, we all know that the fire danger ratings and the weather can change quickly."

It's been a similar story around the province with little activity. There have been 169 fires since April 1, most in northern B.C. — compared to the average of up to 400 fires. 

However, it is supposed to get up to 29°C on Tuesday and above 30°C on the weekend. 

"Even as early as the end of this week, we are expecting to enter a warming and drying trend across the province, which will lead to more ideal conditions for new wildfire starts," said fire information officer Ryan Turcot. 

The provincial wildfire centre says don't let the seemingly slow start to the fire season fool you, especially looking back to the infamous 2003 fire season. 

"The 2003 wildfire season was a pretty good example of a season that started out slow, maybe not quite this slow, but relatively slow in that early spring and summer," noted Turcot. "But then by late August, it ended up being very severe."

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