A grass fire in the BX was sparked at the end of March. (Jennifer Smith/Morning Star)

Fewer floods but busy fire season forecast for Okanagan

Water supply and wildfire outlook examined for 2019

Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce

The good news is there may not be as much flooding this year, but the bad news is there could be wildfires.

An April 12 webinar hosted by the Okanagan Basin Water Board looked at water supply for the region as well as the wildfire outlook for 2019.

See: Unusually dry March leads to dozens of grass fires in B.C.

Currently, the snowpack flood hazard is considered moderate.

“There’s a lot less risk coming into this year,” said David Campbell, a section head with B.C.’s River Forecast Centre.

The provincial government plans to keep outflows from Okanagan Lake low during freshet (snow runoff) so it can get within 100 centimetres of full pool of 342.48 metres. However, discharge from the dam in Penticton could increase depending on spring rainfall.

Officials are also looking to see if there will be sufficient drinking water in the Okanagan.

See: Okanagan water suppliers face drought reality

“Spring is starting dry but the rains of May and June are critical for summer water supply,” said Doug Lundquist, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.

In terms of wildfire, the season could be influenced by average to lower than average snowpack, above normal temperatures for April, May and June and below normal precipitation.

“Earlier freshet means a potentially longer fire season,” said Robert Warner, with the B.C. Wildfire Service.

Above seasonal temperatures are currently expected for the summer.

“We are seeing signs that the fire season is likely to be busier than normal,” said Warner, adding that the severity of wildfires could be impacted by rainfall, wind and drying trends.


@VernonNews
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Salmon Arm church enveloped with care after shooting

Elder: ‘We’re still processing; it will be a while to get over the worst of this.’

Amid boil water notice, public assured treatment system is working

CSRD explains Sunnybrae water system lacks filtration system for seasonal turbidity

Bulky packaging number-one complaint for cannabis retailer

Green Canoe Cannabis owner says suppliers want to see less packaging, sooner than later

Funding enables enhancement of early-years services

Salmon Arm and Sorrento to see additional support for children under six and their families

Dogs can stay on Salmon Arm’s Foreshore Trail until April 30

Prohibition of dogs has been moved two weeks later this year to coincide with bird nesting

Alleged Penticton gunman seen ‘angrily yelling’ before opening fire, witness says

One witness said she heard three bangs, the other said the alleged shooter walked right by him

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Hwang’s first MLS goal lifts Whitecaps to 1-0 win over LAFC

Vancouver picks up first victory of season

Kelowna teen fighting for life in Vancouver hospital

A GoFundMe has been set up for KSS’s Erin Tannar

WATCH: Okanagan creator transforms into Megatron

Vernon’s Darren McNiven lives in car and creates Transformer replicas, art in former storage bin

African children’s choir brings joy and energy to Okanagan-Shuswap

Performances in Salmon Arm, Penticton and Summerland will raise funds for education.

Child-proof your windows ahead of warm weather: B.C. expert

Fifteen children were taken to BC Children’s Hospital for falls in 2018

Tribute concert to raise money for youth treatment centre in Kelowna

The ABBA and Fleetwood Mac tribute bands will raise funds for he Bridge Youth & Family Services’ Youth Recovery House campaign

Kelowna family to match donations on KGH Day of Giving

The family will match donations on April 25

Most Read