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Dry weather pushes B.C.’s wildfire season well into the fall

Click to play video: 'B.C. wildfires burning in the province late into the fall'
B.C. wildfires burning in the province late into the fall
It is an unusual sight to see wildfires burning around B.C. on the Thanksgiving long weekend. Aaron McArthur has an update on where the fires are burning and the resources being used to help keep the flames under control. – Oct 10, 2022

With no rain in the immediate forecast and tinder-dry conditions across most of the province, firefighters are spending Thanksgiving weekend battling some blazes that have ignited.

Two wildfires near Port Alberni on Vancouver Island were reported to the Coastal Fire Centre around 8 p.m. Sunday.

“One of those is now under control,” Julia Caranci, fire information officer with the Coastal Fire Centre, said Monday. “The one that is under control is about .3 of a hectare in size. And today we’re working on the other fire, which is the Spur 10 #1 fire. The status is out of control.”

It is suspected to be about four hectares in size.

Fire departments and the B.C. Wildfire crews helped battle the fire overnight to keep it contained.

“From what I understand from the update that I’ve just had, things are going very well on that fire,” Caranci said. “It is our first operational day but we are working to create a containment line around that fire and it’s going well. However, I will say that we are expecting winds to pick up later this afternoon and it’s possible we may experience some challenges due to that.”

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Click to play video: 'B.C.’s drought making trees more vulnerable to windstorms'
B.C.’s drought making trees more vulnerable to windstorms

The Cowichan River fire, west of Duncan, is still at 4.1 hectares in size and is burning as a surface fire, Caranci explained.

It is still out of control but she said efforts to fight the fire are going well Monday.

Read more: B.C.’s persistent drought continues as wildfires spark, no rain in forecast

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Meanwhile, the wildfire burning east of Grand Forks in Gilpin Grasslands Provincial Park is now 170 hectares in size.

It is still considered out of control.

There are currently 193 wildfires burning in the province, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service.

They are urging people to use caution and remain vigilant to prevent human-caused fires.

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Dry weather and a lack of rain have pushed wildfire season well into the fall.

The Lower Mainland, the Sunshine Coast and west Vancouver Island have now reached Drought Level 5, meaning adverse impacts to socio-economic or ecosystem values are almost certain.

At Level 5, conditions are exceptionally dry, according to the provincial drought scale, and all efforts should be made to conserve water and protect critical environmental flows.

Click to play video: 'British Columbia, the “wet” coast, ravaged by drought'
British Columbia, the “wet” coast, ravaged by drought

 

Although the fire season is expected to end later than normal, 2022 has been below normal in terms of the number of fires and total area burned, the B.C. Wildfire Service said in a statement. These below-average numbers can be attributed to a late start to the 2022 fire season, with above-normal over-winter precipitation amounts, cooler spring temperatures and late snow melt at upper elevations.

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