Okanagan BC Forest Fires
BC forest fires are a risk every summer. If you're in the Okanagan on summer vacation there are some important things you will want to know about forest fires in BC and the Okanagan, staying safe, and how to find current wildfires information for when you are here, or even before you come.
You will also want to know how to report wild fires, in case you come across one.
And if you're camping, it's important to be aware of campfire bans and other BC Forest Service restricitons, particularily where the back country is concerned.
When BC forests are tinder dry, even friction can cause a fire.
Between 2000 and 2009 the Okanagan suffered a number of devastating wild fires, including the Okanagan Mountain Park fire, some caused by human carelessness, others not.
The wild fires season started early in 2009 due to above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation.
We've seen some of the most extreme dry forest and weather conditions, which inevitably created an increased need for tighter restricitions on campfires and such, in the past few years.
The number of forest fires in British Columbia that occur is usually about 2,000, with half caused by people and half caused by lightning.
BC Forest Service fire crews are successful in containing 92 percent of all wildfires in B.C. within the first 24-hours of wildfire discovery.
But in 2009, Okanagan BC forest fires forced more than ten thousand people in West Kelowna and thousands of others all across British Columbia to be evacuated.
Forest Fire Danger Index
During forest fire season, the Wildfire Management Branch of British Columbia weather forecasters collect weather station data to determine Fire Danger Ratings. In some areas of the province such as provincial or national parks, you will see signs indicating the fire danger index. You can also listen for updates on local radio stations.
Low - Low fire danger.
Moderate - Carry out any forest activities with caution.
High - Fire hazard is serious. Extreme caution must be used in any forest activities. Burning permits and industrial activities may be restricted.
Extreme - Extremely high fire hazard. General forest activities may be restricted, including burning permits, industrial activities and campfires.
Be sure to know about BC forest fires hazard ratings and campfire bans when you are here.
B.C.'s forests and wildlands cover over 94 million hectares (nearly a million square kilometres) and are the most diverse in Canada.
Please help protect our forests. :-)
Please report fire sightings or the smell of smoke to
1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on cellular networks.
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