Fewer major fires here despite record heat and dry condition

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canadman
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Fewer major fires here despite record heat and dry condition

Post by canadman »

I've found it interesting (not in any conspiracy theory way, just interesting) that despite incredibly prolonged high temperatures and record low precipitation it just feels this summer like we've seen fewer major fires around here than past years. I know there was the Okanagan Centre fire, which was a bit different. But, as someone living in West Kelowna where it almost seems like tradition to deal with an annual onslaught of fires in Bear Creek, up on the hills around and to the north and south of West K (ie. Rose Valley, Glenrosa, Peachland, etc... - we've been evacuated once and on evac alert three times since 04), this Summer, when it seems drier than any I can recall in recent years and certainly hotter over a prolonged period, this Summer we've seen little in the way of major events and in fact the few minor grass and other fires that have been sparked have seemed easily managed. Why is that do you think?
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Frisk
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Re: Fewer major fires here despite record heat and dry condi

Post by Frisk »

My guess would be lack of wind. Being socked in by smoke for 3 weeks likely supports that. The evening of the Okanagan Centre fire was probably the only time since July 1st that high winds and 30+ degree temperatures mixed here in the valley.
The firefighters have also done a fantastic job attacking & knocking down new fires quickly.
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Woodenhead
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Re: Fewer major fires here despite record heat and dry condi

Post by Woodenhead »

IDK why, but I will say that I have been absolutely loving this weather. I'll take this every year, if we don't burn while we're at it. :130: (altho it did take its sweet time getting here, heh)
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youjustcomplain
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Re: Fewer major fires here despite record heat and dry condi

Post by youjustcomplain »

canadman wrote:I've found it interesting (not in any conspiracy theory way, just interesting) that despite incredibly prolonged high temperatures and record low precipitation it just feels this summer like we've seen fewer major fires around here than past years. I know there was the Okanagan Centre fire, which was a bit different. But, as someone living in West Kelowna where it almost seems like tradition to deal with an annual onslaught of fires in Bear Creek, up on the hills around and to the north and south of West K (ie. Rose Valley, Glenrosa, Peachland, etc... - we've been evacuated once and on evac alert three times since 04), this Summer, when it seems drier than any I can recall in recent years and certainly hotter over a prolonged period, this Summer we've seen little in the way of major events and in fact the few minor grass and other fires that have been sparked have seemed easily managed. Why is that do you think?


I think this is just a local thing though. BC has lost a lot of structures due to fire this season. It's just only a dozen of those structures were in the Okanagan.
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Glacier
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Re: Fewer major fires here despite record heat and dry condi

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canadman wrote:I've found it interesting (not in any conspiracy theory way, just interesting) that despite incredibly prolonged high temperatures and record low precipitation it just feels this summer like we've seen fewer major fires around here than past years. I know there was the Okanagan Centre fire, which was a bit different. But, as someone living in West Kelowna where it almost seems like tradition to deal with an annual onslaught of fires in Bear Creek, up on the hills around and to the north and south of West K (ie. Rose Valley, Glenrosa, Peachland, etc... - we've been evacuated once and on evac alert three times since 04), this Summer, when it seems drier than any I can recall in recent years and certainly hotter over a prolonged period, this Summer we've seen little in the way of major events and in fact the few minor grass and other fires that have been sparked have seemed easily managed. Why is that do you think?

There is no record low precipitation, but it's been very dry, and that should tell you something about why we've had almost no fires. Most fires are caused by lightning, and we've had almost no thunder and lightning this year. Lightning is the key. If you take out the lightning event of July 6th, 7th, and 8th, this was an average year for forest fires. 82% of the forest burned has been in the Cariboo because by some fluke of nature the lightning hit at the exact moment the air was super dry. Like 7% humidity and 35C.
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Frisk
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Re: Fewer major fires here despite record heat and dry condi

Post by Frisk »

Glacier wrote:There is no record low precipitation, but it's been very dry, and that should tell you something about why we've had almost no fires. Most fires are caused by lightning, and we've had almost no thunder and lightning this year. Lightning is the key. If you take out the lightning event of July 6th, 7th, and 8th, this was an average year for forest fires. 82% of the forest burned has been in the Cariboo because by some fluke of nature the lightning hit at the exact moment the air was super dry. Like 7% humidity and 35C.


Only 3 of the 16 large fires that we've experience here in the Central Okanagan since 2003 were caused by lightning. The other 13 were human caused.
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Glacier
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Re: Fewer major fires here despite record heat and dry condi

Post by Glacier »

Frisk wrote:Only 3 of the 16 large fires that we've experience here in the Central Okanagan since 2003 were caused by lightning. The other 13 were human caused.

Perhaps so, but the area of land burned is won out by lightning. Plus, the humidity in the air this week is quite high. Actually, it's been quite high for the past 3 weeks, which means starting a fire is much harder to do than say July 7th. That's why the Okanagan has only had about 5 days of extreme fire danger this month. In 2003, almost every day was extreme.

Example of how humid it is right now, the driest place in all of BC is 33% humidity. Back in July it would be 10% this time of day.
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