B.C.’s drought: Dry conditions spur changes to BCWS wildfire suppression tactics

By Josh Dawson
Business in Vancouver
June 11, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

With record low snowpacks and moisture levels priming much of the province for an active wildfire season, experts say drought conditions this year could make fire suppression more difficult for firefighters. Mike Flannigan, a wildfire researcher at Thompson Rivers University, said drought conditions and drier fuels mean wildfires can burn deeper — especially in peatlands where organic material can reach 40 centimetres or more in depth — making them challenging to fight. “It means either digging, or if you’re fortunate to have a significant water source, because basically, you have to flood it. You have to flood that area to put that smouldering fire out, or you get equipment,” Flannigan said. “So it either costs you in time or money.” Dry fuels are also more receptive to ignitions, Flannigan said. Whether a campfire or lighting strike ignites fuels, a wildfire is easier to start thanks to the little moisture.

Read More