B.C. wildfire season begins early

Wildfire not expected to more towards settlements

The forest fire season of last year was the largest on record. Submitted Photo: Jeremy Heibert
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Reported by Tierney Grattan

A wildfire in the Upper Squamish Valley had grown to 15 hectares in size by Tuesday evening, according to the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District.

The fire has burned uphill, and away from structures, as expected, the district said, and there was no anticipated evacuation alert as of Tuesday.

This marks an earlier-than-normal start to the wildfire season in B.C., the district said.

It expected increased fire behaviour due to the warm weather, but are hoping for rains Tuesday night. The roads remained open, but SLRD requested that non-essential travel in the area should be avoided.

Lori Daniels, who works at the department of forest and conservation sciences at UBC, said they are concerned about what will happen between now and June, and hope that it will be more of a wet season.

“It does give us pause,” Daniels said. “So, we are a little bit concerned that we could be looking at another busy seasons. But we’re still a long ways out.”

She stated that the fire is not properly mapped, but they are hoping to get helicopters up to get a clearer look.

“I know for everybody else having a wet May or June isn’t so exciting, but a wet May or June will dampen the effects of the ongoing drought,” Daniels said.

She stated that it is not just due to a warm spring that fires can start, but also having a warm winter and not having enough snowpack.

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