As severe drought conditions have helped usher in BC’s most devastating wildfire season on record, experts and elected officials are warning of increased flooding risks and lingering damage even after wetter weather returns. More than 80 per cent of B.C.’s water basins are experiencing Level 4 or 5 drought conditions, meaning ecological and economic damage are likely or almost certain, according to the province and environmental experts. …The concurrent drought and unprecedented fire season are exacerbating one another and leaving the province increasingly vulnerable to severe flooding, according to experts. Drought kills vegetation and leaves soil exposed and hardened, said Tom Pypker (Thompson rivers University), with no root systems to help the soil absorb water when rain does fall. Those trees and vegetation are easily uprooted, said Pypker, adding that they can be carried away by heavy rains, turning into debris that can clog water systems and cause unexpected flooding.