West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

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I am Canadian
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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Post by I am Canadian »

Not just West Kelowna. I saw a map yesterday and all of California is under "extreme & exceptional drought" right now, already.

ANd their water levels are only 49% of what they should be due to the lack of snowfall over the winter.

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http://www.vox.com/2015/4/10/8379221/ca ... ter-crisis
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Drip_Torch
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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Post by Drip_Torch »

First, let me qualify my post with a bit of disclaimer statement. I have no interest in inflaming the dialogue, or causing anyone any sleepless nights or anxiety.

I would like to take a crack at a few of the more salient points contained in this thread. I think it’s unfortunate that we live in a time and place that is experiencing conditions that require near dire warnings year after year. I too, think it gets tiresome. I believe with a slightly longer term view of some very simple development concepts, proper community planning and a slight reorganization, and regionalization of fire service delivery, we could overcome some of the challenges we face; seemingly year after year.

However, we’re not there and the actions, or inactions of a few can have very broad consequences for the many. This area seems to attract a certain type of people (and perhaps I’m aiming this comment at a minority of johnny-come-lately land developers) that believe the environment and their natural surroundings can be dominated. Some simply have no idea about what is going on around them.

“it’s april for gawds sake”…

Yes, and for myself, I’ve been watching this year develop, with interest, for the last 15 months. The El Nino pattern we’re looking at isn’t particularly deep and the current best guess, by the experts that watch this type of thing, is there is a 50 to 60 percent chance that the pattern will persist throughout the summer months. That pattern doesn’t need to be deep to have an effect on our more general weather patterns and, while I am no expert, I can see the effects and to a small degree I can explain them to you. There are some subtle changes to the upper and lower level jet streams, changes in precipitation patterns, heating patterns and as mentioned, snow pack levels. There is an extreme, perhaps profound, drought pattern persisting in California and extending through Oregon and into central Washington. Meanwhile, Alaska and the Yukon, continues to remain much warmer than usual. All of these conditions will play into “our” local Okanagan fire season in many ways. Our weather is influenced, resources may be challenged (harder to come by) and there is a far greater chance of the confluence of the unique set of events that take place to cause extreme fire weather behaviour conditions.

“Why do they have to get everyone into panic mode in April…”

Trying to scare you? No. My point, and I believe the point of the Provincial officials that are subtly sounding the alert is; what you and your neighbours do in the next 60 days to harden your immediate surroundings will make ALL the difference in those few days that we are going to experience some extreme fire weather this summer.

I’m not going to wade into the global warming/ climate change debate, but here’s a quick snapshot of things I see going on, that may be associated to this El Nino event, in the last few weeks:

Chile, March 27th – 7 years’ worth of rain in 12 hours (in case you were wondering where California’s rain was falling)

Fort McMurray, April 16 – First interface fire in Western Canada of the 2015 fire season. (That I’m aware of) Four homes destroyed by a carelessly discarded cigarette in unseasonably dry grass. The fire smouldered in the grass for over 1 and half hours before igniting a garage and then high winds fanned a chain reaction exposure fire, about which local officials said, “it could have been much worse.” (In case you were wondering what a warmer north means in the grand scheme of things.)

My point being – extreme weather events can precipitate extreme fire weather events, the type of events that all the kings horses, and all the kings men can’t really do much about, until those conditions alleviate themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I watch fires around the globe and BC rocks it hard, but I do get concerned that the popular narrative deviates from some very obvious realities from time to time.

If this was simply about forest fires, or even just studs, shingles, and granite counter tops – I’d agree with the “blah, blah, blah”, but keep in mind it’s an expensive and sophisticated system, comprised of an extremely committed series of teams that engage in high risk operations that maintain the 97% initial attack success rate in this Province.

Sometimes, despite the fact that everyone did exactly what they were supposed to do, Mother Nature will throw curve ball – and when that happens, it’s what you and I do between October and April that matters the most.
Drip Torch - an upright and steadfast keeper of the flame, but when tilted sideways the contents spill and then our destiny is in the wind...
Swoop
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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Post by Swoop »

...shouldn't this thread be here?:
viewforum.php?f=107
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Frisk
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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Post by Frisk »

I don't believe in the El Nino thing. It might apply for costal areas but not the rest of BC. Most of the rain that we get during the summer comes from those out-of-nowhere thunderstorms, not big weather systems from the Pacific.
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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Post by waterwings »

Quailize wrote:I don't believe in the El Nino thing. It might apply for costal areas but not the rest of BC. Most of the rain that we get during the summer comes from those out-of-nowhere thunderstorms, not big weather systems from the Pacific.


Do you not think what matters is that MOST of British Columbia is dryer than it normally is at this time of the year? Does it matter how it happened. Not at this point. We all need to be careful, extremely careful whether we live on the coast where some of my family lives (fire at Buntzen Lake this afternoon) up in Prince George (100 of thousand acres burned) or her in the central Okanagan (fire in Oyama today). Most of British Columbia is a fire waiting to happen because of logging practices and the wood bug so it is not only the dryness in the earth and the trees from lack of rain that is the problem. Who gives a damn at this point whether it is or was El Nino thing. Be careful !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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logman
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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Post by logman »

How are the logging practices to blame for fire activity? Just asking.
waterwings
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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Post by waterwings »

My humble opinion developed when the news showed pieces where fires are burning and the fires roar through large pieces of land where not a tree stands but trunks, limbs and grasses which acts a kindling for the forests on each side of the areas. Whoosh into the drier trees because of no rain and this happens over and over again in large fires and then there are the stands of beetle trees which are dead and no one will take them out because the wood is useless for economic reasons. The province should have hired loggers, equipment, trucks and tree planters because they knew the weather was changing, The province also ought to TIGHTEN THE RULES that logging companies need to follow.
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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Post by Frisk »

waterwings wrote:
Do you not think what matters is that MOST of British Columbia is dryer than it normally is at this time of the year? Does it matter how it happened. Not at this point. We all need to be careful, extremely careful whether we live on the coast where some of my family lives (fire at Buntzen Lake this afternoon) up in Prince George (100 of thousand acres burned) or her in the central Okanagan (fire in Oyama today). Most of British Columbia is a fire waiting to happen because of logging practices and the wood bug so it is not only the dryness in the earth and the trees from lack of rain that is the problem. Who gives a damn at this point whether it is or was El Nino thing. Be careful !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


waterwings wrote:My humble opinion developed when the news showed pieces where fires are burning and the fires roar through large pieces of land where not a tree stands but trunks, limbs and grasses which acts a kindling for the forests on each side of the areas. Whoosh into the drier trees because of no rain and this happens over and over again in large fires and then there are the stands of beetle trees which are dead and no one will take them out because the wood is useless for economic reasons. The province should have hired loggers, equipment, trucks and tree planters because they knew the weather was changing, The province also ought to TIGHTEN THE RULES that logging companies need to follow.


At first I thought you were joking but now I see that you're not so now I'm going to correct you because everything about these posts is wrong.

1. BC is NOT any drier than normal. It was much drier this time of year in 2003 and 2009 than it is now.

2. Yes it matters how the weather has affected the forests because we can learn from it in the future.

3. Yes it's important to be careful but you don't need to hide under a rock in fear. BC has some of the best firefighters and equipment in the world. What happened in 2003 will probably never happen again. We've learned from our mistakes.

4. Buntzen lake fire was only about 1-2 hectares and is fully contained. All fires in the Prince George area are under control or not threatening anything. Fire in Oyama was 2 hectares and is fully contained. Nothing to lose your hat over, it happens every year.

5. Fire is a natural part of BC's forest ecosystem. Without it forests become crowded with dead fuels.

6. Fire burns slower and less aggressive in areas that have been clear cut / logged because there's fewer fuels which makes it easier for fire crews to bring it under control.

7. Fire kills off pine beetle which is a good thing. Most areas with bad pine beetle are pretty remote so it doesn't really matter if they burn. It's called a modified response fire and it helps repair the forests.

8. Again, not any drier than normal this year.

9. Pine beetle wood is not useless. If it died recently it can be harvested and works just fine. It makes some pretty awesome looking flooring, too.

10. The weather is not changing.

11. Logging is good for the forests. Since fire is a natural thing that cleans up the forests, and we've been putting them out, there needs to be something else to clean up the dead fuels, and that's what logging does. Logging is a good thing, I have no idea what you are talking about.
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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Post by waterwings »

Have it your way because nothing will change your mind .....the weather is not changing

However, I am under a different opinion. What has caused the changing weather on our planet I may never know and nothing will change my mind......the weather has changed....not only on this side of the world but around the whole of the planet.

I'lll agree to disagree - will you?
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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Post by canuck500 »

removed.
Last edited by Triple 6 on May 31st, 2015, 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: off topic comment removed.
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Glacier
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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Post by Glacier »

waterwings wrote:Have it your way because nothing will change your mind .....the weather is not changing

However, I am under a different opinion. What has caused the changing weather on our planet I may never know and nothing will change my mind......the weather has changed....not only on this side of the world but around the whole of the planet.

I'lll agree to disagree - will you?

The weather is changing, but that's not what people mean when they say that the "weather is changing." Similarly, when people say that the weather is not changing, they are merely saying that the weather and climate goes in cycles. You can have 11 years cycles, 2 year cycles, weekly cycles, daily cycles, cycles lasting hundreds of years and even thousands of years. When you put it all together you have a climate that appears to be changing into something we have never seen before. Instead, we have weather patterns with re-occurring cycles within cycles within cycles within cycles within cycles, telling us that there's nothing new under the sun.
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maryjane48
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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Post by maryjane48 »

yea according to glac were we are in a 12 billion year cycle right now which will end when humans disappear lol, whats next? gravity doesn't exist, that's just god pulling you down?
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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Post by Rwede »

waterwings wrote:Do you not think what matters is that MOST of British Columbia is dryer than it normally is at this time of the year? Does it matter how it happened. Not at this point. We all need to be careful, extremely careful whether we live on the coast where some of my family lives (fire at Buntzen Lake this afternoon) up in Prince George (100 of thousand acres burned) or her in the central Okanagan (fire in Oyama today). Most of British Columbia is a fire waiting to happen because of logging practices and the wood bug so it is not only the dryness in the earth and the trees from lack of rain that is the problem. Who gives a damn at this point whether it is or was El Nino thing. Be careful !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



The "wood bug" is a naturally occurring insect that is integral to the life cycle of the lodgepole pine. It is SUPPOSED to kill mature pine forests every 80 to 120 years so that the forest burns and a new forest starts up.

Lodgepole pine cones need the heat of a forest fire to open up and spread seeds. The fire is also necessary to burn off needles and branch litter on the ground so that the seeds can reach the mineral soils and take root.

Without this cycle, the forest won't naturally regenerate very well, and then all we're left with is dead blowdown with scrub brush and invasive plants.

"Climate" has absolutely zero to do with this natural cycle. It will burn during the hotter months when it reaches the age where the mountain pine beetle has attacked and killed it, then lightning takes over and cleans up the fuel load.
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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Post by mr.bandaid »

While walking behind Smith Creek I came to near of the end of the road and found an unattended smouldering fire from what looked to be a much bigger fire last night. It is dry as a popcorn fart out there and people still leave fires unattended. The fire department was called and they promptly came up and put the smouldering fire out. Thanks guys.
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Re: West Kelowna Preparing for Extreme Fire Season

Post by Glacier »

No offence, but your facts aren't very dry because the current rating in the Okanagan is moderate.
Last edited by Glacier on Jun 17th, 2015, 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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