The BC FireSmart Committee is calling on all British Columbia residents and communities to prepare for the upcoming wildfire season by mitigating wildfire risks where they live after having launched a new website.
Environment Canada and Climate Change warning preparedness meteorologist Armel Castellan said it was record-breakingly dry for the majority of the province.
“To the north of you Watson Lake, Fort St. John, Fort Nelson, were all their driest Marches on record; even Prince George was the third driest. Terrace, a little bit further west usually quite a wet location, normally sees 92 millimeters in March and only had 30 so it was the sixth driest March on record there,” he said.
“This followed over to Sandspit in Haida Gwaii, and then in the South Coast, we had the driest record for Comox, for Victoria as well. Dease Lake as well; very dry and only one percent of normal for March.”
Castellan said Williams Lake was the anomaly in that it had 19.7 mm of precipitation and normally sees 17.9 mm.
“That was only really due to a couple of days in the month that saw good days of precipitation,” he said.
“You had two spells where you had some convectively based precipitation and that was all that it really took there to get a little bit of snow at the start of the month and then some rain at the end of the month to really bump those numbers. Otherwise, the rest of the province was incredibly dry and there is a lot of concern about how these spring months are setting us up for possible drought conditions in the summertime.”
“Of course another concern is wildfires especially two years ago but again last year a lot of wildfire risks and development across the province as well as in the Cariboo. So these are the kind of things decision-makers are having to take into great consideration at this time of year as we edge towards those very dry summers and problematic months at times.”
The BC FireSmart Committee’s new website provides all the information resources necessary to FireSmart a home or become a FireSmart Recognized Community.
“FireSmart BC’s website is a central resource dedicated solely to wildfire prevention for property owners and communities in B.C.,” said Kelsey Winter, FireSmart Program Lead for the BC Wildfire Service.
“It provides all the information resources necessary to FireSmart a home or become a FireSmart Recognized Community.”
There are now 65 FireSmart Recognized Communities in B.C., and more than 100 communities are currently involved in a FireSmart program.