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

WATCH: New home for Vernon family

Single mom, two kids new residents of Habitat for Humanity’s first completed project in Vernon

BREAKING: Vehicle incident closes Highway 97 near Falkland

DriveBC says an assessment is underway; delays expected

POLL: Drinks in the park in Vernon?

City councillor wonders if allowing drinks in public places may help local businesses

COLUMN: Plate hate has no place in B.C.

B.C. transplant still drives with red plates, but hopes her car will be safe from COVID hate

Playgrounds to reopen across the Okanagan on June 1

After nearly two months closure, playgrounds are set to reopen

Duck nests at Vernon drive-thru

Mother has hatched four ducklings just inches from the steady stream of vehicles

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Okanagan-shot film “The Color Rose” wins two cinematography awards

Locations in the Okanagan were used such as; The Casorso residence, BNA, Father Pandosy, Venture Academy and Idabel Lake Resort

Kids raise $10,000 to feed Kamloops wildlife

Bottle drive initially set out to raise $2,000 to feed the animals at the wildlife park

Driver damages Shuswap playground after alleged pellet gun shooting

RCMP report vehicle drove through Memorial Park before coming to a stop

Kelowna’s Rock the Lake officially postponed until 2021

The new dates have been scheduled for August 6-8, 2021

Most Read