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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shuswap boy wins stick from hockey hero with rock, paper, scissors

Chase’s Payton Koch’s exchange with Minnesota Wild’s Kevin Fiala caught on camera

Salmon Arm gives tax break to Canoe Forest Products plywood plant

Company tax bill to be reduced while residential taxpayers to pick up shortfall

Rezoning proposed for Salmon Arm farmland to allow for future development

Portion of parcel in agricultural land reserve will be sold to large-scale farming operation

Salmon Arm truck stop task force on hold

Mayor waiting on highway construction and related negotiations

Collision at Salmon Arm intersection

Emergency crews responding

Morning Start: Abraham Lincoln’s dog was also assassinated

Your morning start for Thursday, February 27, 2020

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to meet today with federal and B.C. governments

Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks

Chinatowns across Canada report drop in business due to new coronavirus fears

Around the world, about 81,000 people have become ill with the virus

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

Use of new trailer donated to Salmon Arm horse rescue society

Freedom’s Gate Equine Rescue Society grateful for support of Kamloops business

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Volunteers share amazing memories of Vancouver Olympic games

A decade ago this month, Vancouver hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics. Approximately… Continue reading

Most Read