HomeNewsIsland & CoastWildfire season sees lower starts so far on Island and Coast

Wildfire season sees lower starts so far on Island and Coast

So far in this year’s Wildfire season, there have been lower wildfire starts on Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast.

That comes from Jade Richardson, a fire information officer for Coastal Fire Centre, who says factors such as rain and humidity played a part in the low wildfire starts on the coast.

Richardson says they have been fortunate to get rain in the fall before the winter season and to get consistent rain during the spring into June.

“We often will say that June rains can really make or break the early portions of the season, and we were very fortunate to get a lot of rain on and off in June,” said Richardson.

“Even when it’s been dry,dry,dry and we get a couple of days of rain mixed in and then three days of dry, two days of rain, that’s a really good pattern for us to allow the fuels to receive moisture.”

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She says we are also no longer in a drought code, which comes after a prolonged drought last year affected the 2023 wildfire season. The drought lasted from October 2022 to near-November last year.

But with the current heat event affecting many places on the Island and Coast, Richardson says it does increase the risk of a fire starting.

“It increases the risk that it can grow more quickly if it does start,” said Richardson. “Fortunately, in the very short-term forecast, we don’t see any indication of a lot of lightning coming through the coastal region. Any starts that we might see are likely to be human caused.”

Richardson adds human-caused fires make up 40 percent of all wildfires in BC, with the service encouraging people to be responsible during the season.

In terms of the fire danger rating, she says the southern tip of Vancouver Island is often dry and warm, with some pockets seeing an extreme danger rating. For the east coast of the Island and Sunshine Coast, they have a high danger rating, while the northern and western tips of the Island are at a moderate rating.

In the event of a wildfire, you are encouraged to report it by calling the service at 1-800-6663-5555.

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