West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

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West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Postby oneh2obabe » Apr 9th, 2015, 8:55 pm

We’re expecting an El Nino year, said West Kelowna Fire Chief Jason Brolund, meaning there’s a good chance it’ll be a warm and dry season. The last time West Kelowna experienced similar dry and warm weather conditions was in 2003, the year thousands of Okanagan residents were evacuated from their homes after a massive forest fire ravaged the land.

"I don't want to be inflammatory, but I'd say we're a month to six weeks ahead in terms of spring and weather conditions than we would normally be, [...] and the closest analog we we're given, so they looked back over the years and said when have we had another year like this, that was in 2003. Like I said I don't want to be inflammatory, but the weather is something we watch very closely," said Brolund.

Considering we’re about six weeks ahead in terms of spring and weather conditions, forest fires pose a large threat and the District of West Kelowna have teamed up with the Westbank First Nations (WFN) to treat 10 hectares of Westbank Community Forest in the hills above Rose Valley and Bear Creek, resulting in over 1,000 piles of forest debris.

Complete article
http://www.*bleep*.com/watercooler/n ... re_Season/
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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Postby davis123 » Apr 10th, 2015, 5:51 am

I think we hear the same thing each year since the fire in 2003...soon as spring hits 'oh we're in for a dry summer' blah blah blah...its April for gawds sake, how can you possibly forecast dry conditions into june/july/august? They can't even get this weekends forecast correct but this summer will be warm and dry? Why do they have to get everyone into panic mode in April over forest fires that *might* happen? Its great they are being proactive and everyone who owns property should also be proactive and clean up fallen trees and debris, but it gets pretty tiresome hearing the same thing each year.

The weather we're having isn't any different than the past 15 years or so, this area is not 6 weeks ahead..I go mushroom picking every spring, so every year I watch the conditions to see when I can start picking, we drive the forestry roads every weekend and throughout the week, the conditions up there this time of year are the same they have been for 15 years. This year is actually a bit behind compared to normal so far.

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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Postby Shawner » Apr 10th, 2015, 6:01 am

davis123 wrote:I think we hear the same thing each year since the fire in 2003...soon as spring hits 'oh we're in for a dry summer' blah blah blah...its April for gawds sake, how can you possibly forecast dry conditions into june/july/august?


Because of this. It's the Brenda Mines snow pillow, the only one present on the west side of the lake.

Dark blue line is this year. Red line is the historical low (since it was installed in 1992).

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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Postby davis123 » Apr 10th, 2015, 6:37 am

That's a pretty graph, however nobody knows what the weather will bring us. Like I said, be proactive and clean up where you can, if its going to happen, its going to happen, no need to make people start panicking in the middle of April with their 'predictions' of the future.
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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Postby solrac » Apr 10th, 2015, 6:47 am

This is not a "weather prediction" - it's a "fire risk" prediction.

Lack of snow pack is what causes "tinder dry conditions."

Sure, it might rain in the summer, who knows. But even if it does, rain tends to run off. Snow pack, on the other hand, melts slowly into the ground, releasing moisture and staving off the development of "tinder dry" conditions. If the snow's all gone by May... it's gonna be dry dry dry in those forests this year. Which makes it easier for fires to start and easier for fires to spread.

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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Postby davis123 » Apr 10th, 2015, 7:19 am

you been up in the back country recently? So we can determine the entire valley is going to burn because of Brenda mine snow conditions? the conditions in the back country area I frequent are no different than the past 15 winters. Unfortunately, fires are necessary and cannot be avoided - the only thing you can do is be proactive and clean up around where you live. No need to hype everyone up cause its a slow news day.
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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Postby Randall T » Apr 10th, 2015, 7:34 am

It does become tiring. Every year there is flood panic, drought panic, fire panic, lake running out of water panic, whatever. It's not California. Deal with whatever happens without all the perceived pre-event hype.

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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Postby solrac » Apr 10th, 2015, 7:36 am

Unfortunately, fires are necessary and cannot be avoided - the only thing you can do is be proactive and clean up


Yeah uhm. That was the entire point of the article. You did read it all the way to the end, right? Fire mitigation efforts, cleaning up debris in the higher risk forest interface areas.......

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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Postby dirtguy » Apr 10th, 2015, 8:01 am

The snow pack has zero relevance on the fire danger later in the season....derp

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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Postby Steve-O » Apr 10th, 2015, 8:56 am

Biking up Smith Creek area and around Rose Valley and things are dry there already. Riding conditions are quickly turning into what we ride in July and April is not yet over. This is usually the time of year we are putting our first laps in at Smith Creek, this year we've been riding there for 6 weeks already. Not exactly far back country but as dry as I've seen it since moving here.

The fires the last few years have mostly been started by dumb asses and now it looks like there will be a bigger window for their stupidity to cause damage.
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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Postby davis123 » Apr 10th, 2015, 9:00 am

solrac wrote:Yeah uhm. That was the entire point of the article. You did read it all the way to the end, right? Fire mitigation efforts, cleaning up debris in the higher risk forest interface areas.......


ya uhm and your point is what..that you are capable of being condescending without reason? The article could just state they are being proactive and cleaning *bleep* up, there is no need to hype it up to more than it is ..EXTREME FIRE SEASON..gimme a break and stop with the drama.
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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Postby Frisk » Apr 10th, 2015, 10:28 am

Judging the severity of the fire season by how things are in April doesn't make much sense. We've had many years like this (dry spring time) that ended up getting soaked by heavy rains in May and June.

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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Postby Wildfire 3 » Apr 11th, 2015, 8:40 am

It's pretty simple.

Ministry has 260 meteorological sites across the province giving hourly wind speed, temperature, humidity and precipitation readings for the last 35 years, and then they compare it against previous years' databases to give reason to issue these warnings, and then spend millions to preemptively mitigate the problem. It's almost like they can see into the past, to predict the future!

But some guy on the Castanet forums inflamed over a calm press release carefully worded to be non-inflammatory, says nothing is different this year because it "looks" the same to him, and for us to stop being drama queens.

Haha.
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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Postby Randall T » Apr 11th, 2015, 9:03 am

I think a lot of people these days are simply getting weary of everything being sold as panic when it's pretty much just normal occurrences.

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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Postby Wildfire 3 » Apr 11th, 2015, 9:16 am

What we will be facing in this province, mega fires, is hardly a normal occurrance.

Highlights:

In the Southern Interior fire size is expected to double, from an average of 7,961 hectares to 19,076 hectares

Summer fire severity will go up 95 per cent

The fire season will lengthen by 30 per cent

Fire frequency will increase by 30 per cent.

Annual area burned is also predicted to increase by 50 per cent to 300 per cent in the boreal​ forest.

By 2017, it is estimated that there will be 787.8 million cubic metres of pine that have been killed in the province by beetles, creating a huge fuel source for fires.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada has warned that it expects the incidence of severe wildfires to increase in B.C. by 50 per cent or more by the year 2050.


Ignore the warnings at your own peril.
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