Fire Season: Will it soon be all year round in BC?

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remind remind's picture

yep, and there are 7000 spawning sockeye, as opposed the the hundreds of thousands there should be. Fraser is too warm?

remind remind's picture

Dry lightening all around  the mountains here tis nasty.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

oops

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Dry lightening freaks me out. I was in Blue River once when a storm hit. One minute it was calm and then the wind just rushed in like a wave.  Was staying in a campground and everyone just started running for their vehicles and we evacuated to a nearby restaurant along with dozens of other people. A bunch of use just stood under the cover by the door and watch it strike in the hills all around us. Pew, pew, bang, pew, BOOM!  Then stood there as the smoke and several little fires started. Scary times.

remind remind's picture

Yes, the weather change is fast eh, in the mountains.The wind sensors across the valley can pinpoint down to the second when the wind is going to pick up, if you have a link into them.

Valley is hazey but it could be smoke from the Clearwater fires.

 

North Shore

Politics101 wrote:

"In fact, I've often wondered if it would make any sense if Canada and Australia developed a combined water bomber fleet, and shared costs. 

Water bombers and crews are expensive, and there's little point in having them idle in either country over the winters."

 

I don't believe that the water bombers are owned by the government but by a private firm that then contracts with various governments for there use.

 

Anyone know what the flying range of those planes are - wonder if they would be able to make the long haul across the Pacific.

 

Water Bombing 101: there are two different types of airtankers - 1)ground-based retardant and 2)scoopers.  All can be of various capacities.  Scoopers (a la Martin Mars) are most effective in areas where there is ready access to water, as their efficacy is based upon as many scoops/drops as possible on the fire in order to control the fire.  The further they have to go to water, the slower the cycle time.  Retardant tankers have to return after each drop to an airport in order to fill up their tanks with retardant (the red stuff you see dropping out of the bottom of the plane)  Their drop tanks have doors that are configured so as to drop lines of retardant, through which (hopefully) the fire will not burn.

I've never been to Australia, but I'd assume that lakes suitable for scooping are few and far between, and so retardant tankers are probably going to be the best bet, IMHO.  That being said, the conditions that were being reported during the last Aussie fire season (>35C, low humidity and strong breeze) are almost unstoppable.

Sharing aeroplanes is a good idea in theory, but there would probably be some problems in execution...  It's a highly skilled job, and you'd probably need ~ 5 good years to become effective and safe as a captain on the machines.  That means that some of our guys/gals are going to have to go there and train the Aussies.  Part of the attraction of the job is that you work all summer, and then get all winter off - you might find it difficult to recruit trainers to do that..

Getting the bigger planes there wouldn't be that difficult - Vancouver, San Fransisco, Hawaii, Fiji/Samoa, Brisbane.  With ferry fuel tanks (extra fuel for longer flights) installed in the fuselages, the longest leg is about 2200 nautical miles..  The smaller planes (like the one that crashed in Kelowna last week) are actually converted agricultural spray planes - of which Aus has dozens.

In terms of the ownership of the fleet across Canada, Conair, based in Abotsford, BC owns their own aeroplanes, and has the contract for BC and Alberta (some of the Alberta machines are owned by a company called Airspray)  In Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland, the tankers are owned and operated by the Provincial governments.  New Brunswick is private, PEI and Nova Scotia, I dunno..NWT the planes are owned by the government, and operated by a private company..

NorthReport

Welcome to Whistler, but don't worry there will be lots of money to put this fire out!

 

B.C. wildfire forces evacuations at Whistler, Blackcomb

 

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/07/30/bc-whistler-b...

remind remind's picture

Ya, Pemberton residents are not too happy about their fire resources being pulled to action the Blackcomb fire.

Now Lillooet is under evac alert and a hydro transmission line has been burnt near Seton Lake.

Quote:
The forest fire spans more than 2,000 hectares in the steep, rocky terrain between Lillooet and the communities of Shalalth and Seton Portage, about 25 km west of Lillooet.

remind remind's picture

 

Quote:
Fire officials say a blaze on a B.C. Olympic mountain is much smaller than originally feared but, just in case, there's a backup plan if the winds suddenly shift and threaten 2010 Games venues.

They'll turn on the snowmaking equipment.

"On the alpine venue, we're fortunate enough to have a sprinkler system, more or less, with the snowmaking capacity we have in that zone, so we have reservoirs and the ability to pump water into those zones," said Doug Forseth, vice-president of operations for Whistler-Blackcomb.

"We have fire hydrants for the snowmaking equipment and we have the ability to have some capable resources to help dampen the fire if we have anything start."

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/675000

NorthReport

Not again.

 

Terrace Mountain fire forces evacuation of 2,700 near Kelowna

 

 

 

 

http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/Terrace+Mountain+fire+forces+e...

NorthReport

Stay out of the back country, as pparently there are more than 500 forest fires presently burning in BC.

 

 

 

Lillooet on alert as 2,650-hectare fire burns one kilometre away

 

 

 

 

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Lillooet+alert+hectare+fire+burns+kilom...

remind remind's picture

There were 4 fires started here today from lightening stikes, that they have located so far. But we also got a bunch of rain, so it may help, if it got past the canopy.

NorthReport

Just be careful, and make sure you always have an escape route.

remind remind's picture

There are fires ins all directions, if the rain did not help to contain them, actually. But I am pretty confident it did and have been listening to forestry radio all evening. The RAPP and IA crews were all over them, and they were heli-bucketing immediately too.

 

But thank you!!! :)

remind remind's picture

Quote:
In the past few days, lightning strikes have ignited hundreds of new fires. “It’s so dry that any ignition source that hits the ground is pretty well guaranteed to start something,” Ms. Steinbart said. “We had 169 new fires last night alone.”

More than 800 personnel from Alberta to Ontario have been rushed to B.C. to help keep the flames at bay, bolstering efforts of the province’s own 956-member fire-fighting contingent.

With high temperatures forecast to continue at least into the middle of next week, Ms. Steinbart said little relief is in sight. “We are hoping for a break, but we have to anticipate that we’re going to be busy for a little while yet.”

While the province has so far been spared major residential damage from the flames, several communities are threatened by fires burning out of control.

Mr. Horley said conditions are perfect for more burning. “It’s very hot, 36 to 38 degrees, and really low humidity.”

Policywonk

Politics101 wrote:

"In fact, I've often wondered if it would make any sense if Canada and Australia developed a combined water bomber fleet, and shared costs. 

Water bombers and crews are expensive, and there's little point in having them idle in either country over the winters."

 

I don't believe that the water bombers are owned by the government but by a private firm that then contracts with various governments for there use.

 

Anyone know what the flying range of those planes are - wonder if they would be able to make the long haul across the Pacific.

 

 

It makes far more sense to exchange fire fighting crews rather than water bombers, and BC fire crews have been sent to Austraiia to help combat wildfires there.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/02/14/bc-firefighte...

The situation near Lillooet sounds very bad.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/08/03/bc-fire003.html

I was driving on the Coquihalla yesterday and saw a very high cloud that looked like a small cauliflower (very hard edges). I think it was as a result of the Terrace Mountain fire west of Lake Okanagan. A little different from driving across the Connector in 2003 and seeing the Okanagan Mountain fire (I lived in Kelowna at the time).

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/08/02/bc-fintry-lil...

Policywonk

http://bcwildfire.ca/History/average.htm

http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Statistics.asp

Needs to go a long way to catch up to 2003 and 2004, but that's not any consolation to people who have lost and may lose their homes and livelihoods this year. The way things are going, it will be an above average year though.

remind remind's picture

A Ontario helicopter pilot, who was fighting the Lillooet forest fire, is missing and presumed dead, after his helicopter crashed into the Fraser when he was attempting to fill his bucket.

All the best to the Woodhead family!

http://www.cknw.com/Channels/Reg/NewsLocal/Story.aspx?ID=1126214

George Victor

They just found him...way downstream.

Hope things are cooling off out there, as they are thisaway.

El nino is supposed to last into the first quarter of 2010 though. Might be an interesting winter. Hope Whistler has snow in February.

remind remind's picture

Yes, they did find Mr Woodhead, so sad for his family... there is a service on Sunday in Lillooet on the bridge over the Fraser.

No actually is not cooling off, it is way hot again this week, and the idiot down the road actually has a fire going when there is a fire ban, just waiting for the forest service to come and shut it down actually.

I hope Whistler has no snow.

scott scott's picture

remind wrote:
No actually is not cooling off, it is way hot again this week,

Exactly right. Here in the South East we are expecting high '30s this week. A few cool or wet days does not end the fire season. Tthere are at least 4 weeks to go and maybe till the end of September. One of the climate change effects seems to be LATER as well as drier and hotter summers. Most of the action in the big fire year of 2003 hapenned AFTER mid August.

Policywonk

scott wrote:

remind wrote:
No actually is not cooling off, it is way hot again this week,

Exactly right. Here in the South East we are expecting high '30s this week. A few cool or wet days does not end the fire season. Tthere are at least 4 weeks to go and maybe till the end of September. One of the climate change effects seems to be LATER as well as drier and hotter summers. Most of the action in the big fire year of 2003 hapenned AFTER mid August.

The Okanagan Mountain Fire began August 16th, but there were major fires before then, particularly north of Kamloops.

remind remind's picture

It is close to 40 here with a very heavy hot dry wind.  A fire starts and the valley will burn.

My line full of clothes dried in less than 20 mins

Politics101

Remind - did the Forest service come and put out the idiot's fire and was the idiot issued a ticket?

remind remind's picture

Ya, the FS pumper truck came out and put it out,  don't know about a ticket though. He is new to the valley.

But the way the winds were whipping today one spark could have toasted the valley

 

remind remind's picture

140 fores fires currently burning in BC, and perhaps a 100 more are expected through out the day today, caused by a electrical storm moving in, and high heat.

Of course, it is all possible because of the standing dead, pine beetle killed trees, that the BC and federal governments did nothing about.

And why aren't 1000's of  trained BC emergency fire fighters  being used to fight these fires? As they are instead using fire fighters from other countries and provinces, and a much greater cost to the province's tax payers, than the emergency fire fighters would, who are currently sitting idle.

North Shore

Remind, it may be a case of differently qualified firefighters.  That is, you keep your 'A' team on the bench in order to fight initial attack on new starts, and use the 'B' team of imports to do the boring grunt work on established fires.

remind remind's picture

nope

North Shore

OK, do you have a link?

remind remind's picture

What you think they started a web site to complain?

There are 100's in NIFAC alone sitting idle doing nothing, except collecting EI and welfare, even though they are trained and experienced fire fighters.

Policywonk

http://bcwildfire.ca/History/average.htm

http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Statistics.asp

Looks like 2004 will be passed in the next day or so and 2003 is not beyond reach. Unfortunately.

NorthReport

Better get used to it, as the planetary forecast for the next 5 years is hot, hot, and more hot.

remind remind's picture

If the BC Liberals, actually got proactive, as opposed to spending billions on reactive actions, there would be less to worry about.

remind remind's picture

No..they are not, just the regular ones.

And most go back to school the first week anyway, so they are not available usually, while they are this year.

remind remind's picture

Nasty nasty electrical storm happening over the mountains, going to be wicked fires, no rain.

scott scott's picture

NorthReport wrote:
Better get used to it, as the planetary forecast for the next 5 years is hot, hot, and more hot.

Other stats aside, one trend I have noticed is that the seasons are getting later; later springs and later falls for instance. AFAIK this is the first year that all BC firefighters are deployed during the first week of September.

__________________________________

One struggle, many fronts.

scott scott's picture

remind wrote:
And why aren't 1000's of  trained BC emergency fire fighters  being used to fight these fires?

What do you mean by "trained BC emergency fire fighters"? If you mean that they passed the S100 course and have a pair of boots it is not enough to be deployed. You have to be organised into crews. This is usually done by fire fighting contractors. Each crew of five has to have a certified crew leader, a level 1 first aid attendant, a qualified power saw operator and a certified Wildfire danger tree assessor among them.

Quote:
As they are instead using fire fighters from other countries and provinces, and a much greater cost to the province's tax payers, than the emergency fire fighters would, who are currently sitting idle.

The resources from other provinces and countries are on loan under mutual aid agreements and not purchased. If the hot spot was the east as it is some years BC fire fighters would go there. CIFFC

NorthReport

Updated daily: B.C. wildfire map shows shifting boundaries

Check regularly to see how fires throughout the province have moved and changed

CBC's maps contain updated information about the size and locations of significant wildfires throughout B.C. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

 

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/updated-daily-b-c-wildfir...

NorthReport

Wind, dry conditions fuel fast-moving wildfire near Kelowna, B.C.

http://toronto.citynews.ca/2017/09/03/wind-dry-conditions-fuel-fast-movi...

NorthReport

'We need to be ready and have our families ready': Wildfires flare up across B.C.

Hot, dry conditions leave the province vulnerable to flames over Labour Day weekend

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/wildfires-sunday-east-koo...

NorthReport

That's the road to Whistler folks!

Highway 99 closed in both directions north of Squamish, B.C., as vehicle, trees burn

B.C. Wildfire Service sending a crew to assess the blaze, Drive BC says closure will last 4 hours

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/highway-99-closed-in-both...

NorthReport
NorthReport

Sleep well last nite?

Environment Canada warns of wildfire smoke and high temperatures in Metro Vancouver

 

https://www.straight.com/news/959396/environment-canada-warns-wildfire-s...

NorthReport

Raging Wildfire Delays School for Hundreds of B.C. Students

Parent ponders online learning option for her son with no end in sight to school closure.

https://thetyee.ca/News/2017/09/06/Raging-Wildfire-Delays-School-BC-Stud...

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