Kamloops wildfire expert says rapid detection, action on fire starts key as climate warms

By Kristen Holiday
May 7, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A wildfire expert says rapid detection and initial action to tackle fire starts is important as climate change spurs the hot, dry conditions which result in more intense fires. Mike Flannigan, wildfire researcher at Thompson Rivers University, was one of two presenters who spoke on the future of wildfires in B.C. during the Southern Interior Local Government Association conference Thursday. “In terms of impacts, B.C. is at the pointy end of the spear. We’ve been hit by freight trains in 2017, 2018, 2021, 2023,” Flannigan said. “Yes, we’re going to get hit by more freight trains — and they’re going to be more intense, more frequent.” Flannigan said extreme fire weather — hot, dry, windy days with lots of lightning — is the “key driver” of the increase in wildfires. While the number of human-caused fires are decreasing, last year, more than 70 per cent of B.C.’s wildfires were caused by lightning.

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