Winter drought harbinger of potentially dire 2024 wildfire season in B.C.

By Derrick Penner
The Vancouver Sun
January 6, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lori Daniels

The new centre for wildfire coexistence being established at the University of B.C. looks to have its work cut out for it right out of the gate. As of Dec. 28, the B.C. Wildfire Service counted 106 wildfires as still burning. …“Zombie fires, we call them, when they go underground and smoulder through the winter,” said Lori Daniels, UBC professor of forest and conservation sciences, who will lead the new centre. “But it’s shocking how many (there are).” The El Niño phenomena that has brought warmer ocean temperatures is to blame, delivering warmer and drier weather across the west that has starved regions of their usual snow and cold. …UBC’s faculty of forestry launched the centre Dec. 19 with $5 million from UBC patrons, the Koerner family. Its task is to take research findings about what makes communities vulnerable to fire and translate those findings into making forests more resilient.

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