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2014.30.05

Southeast Fire Centre Fire Activity: Since April 1, the Southeast Fire Centre has responded to a total of 15 fires, which have burned 35 hectares. The five-year averages for this time of year are 17 fires and 112 hectares.

public and private property at risk within the community; fuel loads and wildfire risk; through the restoration of open forest conditions; and hance, the many values of the treated stand, including recreation, wildlife habitat, visual quality, water quality, forest health, air quality, cultural heritage, terrain stability, privacy, and noise reduction; Fuel Management to the public.

Elkford Fuels Management Project: Two 20-person unit crews from the Cranbrook Fire Zone will be engaging in a fuels management project in and around the community of Elkford from June 2 until June 6. The treatment area covers three hectares in size on the south end of the community. The treatment area is adjacent to highway 43, and borders on residential properties. Wildfire Management Branch crews will comply with all Ministry of Environment smoke control regulations when burning piles and will work hard to limit any impact on the community. The City of Elkford will be housing the crews at a local campground and will be provide a water tender to help mop-up the burn piles during the project.

Fuels Management Objectives: This fuel management prescription is consistent with the objectives of the Kootenay Boundary Higher Level Plan Order and the District of Elkford’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Specifically, the objectives of this prescription are to: community;

Season Outlook: The southeast region has slightly higher than normal snowpack levels. These snowpack levels are helping to prevent lightning fires at high elevations at this time. Current weather models indicate the beginning of June could be unsettled, but conditions may become drier by month’s end. More relevant indicators are drying patterns and lightning once we get closer to the summer months. It is impossible to accurately predict the severity of each forest fire season or where fires will burn. Weather is the controlling factor in the severity and frequency of fires and cannot be reliably forecasted more than a few days in advance. Long-term weather models may give us an indication of trends over time, but forecasts tend to diminish beyond a few days. Fire weather is primarily affected by temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, and wind speed.


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Fire Danger Rating

Precipitation

Temperature

Relative Humidity

These maps are current for May 29, 2014. For the most recent weather maps, please see www.bcwildfire.ca/weather These graphs are for informational purposes only and should not be used to make operational decisions.


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Most recent forecast for the Southeast Valid as of Friday May 30, 2014

Southeast Fire Centre Statistics Totals since April 1, 2014: Fires to date: 15 Hectares burned: 35 Person-caused fires: 15 Lightning-caused fires: 0

2013 at this time: Fires to date: 22 Hectares burned: 166 Person-caused fires: 18 Lightning-caused fires: 3

2012 at this time: Fires to date: 18 Hectares burned: 266 Person-caused fires: 17 Lightning-caused fires: 1

SYNOPSIS: Slightly unsettled conditions (a general mix of sun and cloud with isolated afternoon showers/thundershowers) are anticipated with a broad/weak upper trough gradually pushing southeastward from the south coast today and Saturday. The western part of the region will likely experience isolated shower activity this afternoon and evening, and the east part on Saturday afternoon & evening. Temperatures will trend warmer, with highs near seasonal values today and a couple of degrees warmer Saturday. FREEZING LEVEL: Rising to between 2,500 and 2,800 metres this afternoon, and similar or slightly higher Saturday afternoon. OUTLOOK: A weak west or west-northwesterly flow aloft suggests generally dry, sunny and warm conditions Sunday and Monday, but air mass instability remains a risk for isolated showers/thundershowers each afternoon and early evening. The east of the fire centre is likely to experience isolated shower activity Sunday afternoon (mainly near the Rockies), but isolated cells could also develop along the Monashees. The western part of the region will see isolated showers on Monday afternoon. Some computer models suggest that Tuesday will be very similar to Monday, while the majority indicate a deeper upper trough or closed low pressure system tracking southeastward from northern-central B.C. for increasingly unsettled conditions. The scattered showers/thundershowers could be confined to the north half of the region until late Tuesday afternoon or Tuesday night. Warmer than seasonal temperatures are expected Sunday and Monday, with highs ranging from 23 to 27. Tuesday could be similar or cooler. CONFIDENCE/DISCUSSION: Fair to good confidence through Saturday, fair Sunday and Monday, poor to fair Tuesday. Moisture lingering in the wake of yesterday’s system is extensive across the Columbia zones this morning. It should dissipate, but may react with afternoon instability for a greater chance of convective showers. A weak feed of moisture from the southwest also increases the likelihood of isolated cells within the Boundary zone this afternoon and evening. The weak southwesterly feed of moisture is aimed at our southeast (mainly the Rockies) Saturday afternoon and evening. On Sunday and Monday, very weak upper disturbances are likely to react with afternoon instability, which may bring isolated showers or thundershowers to the Columbia zone. The trend is toward increasingly unsettled conditions. 6 TO 10-DAY. Confidence is poor to fair, unsettled conditions begin Tuesday. The upper trough currently favoured to impact the region Tuesday-Tuesday night may continue eastward (generally just north of the region) for unsettled conditions and near seasonal temperatures on Wednesday. There is a greater chance of showers/afternoon thundershowers across our north. A westerly flow (a gap between disturbances) favours a more general mixture of sun and cloud across the majority of the region Thursday and Friday. Greater cloud cover and isolated showers are still possible with lingering moisture across our north Thursday afternoon. An upper trough approaching from the north-central coast could increase the chance of showers across the Columbia zones again Friday afternoon. This upper trough may continue southeastward for region wide unsettled conditions and cooler temperatures Saturday and into Sunday. Some forecasts suggest a weak area of high pressure for dry, warmer conditions Sunday afternoon. VENTING and WINDS ALOFT: Venting poor below and good above 1,200-1,600 metres until mid-late morning today and again between sunset this evening and mid-late morning Saturday, otherwise good venting. Smoke drift above the ridge tops light and variable today and early Saturday, light and generally toward the east or east-southeast Saturday afternoon.


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Towards a FireSmart Community KIST – Kootenay Interface Steering Team The Kootenay Interface Steering Team (KIST) has scheduled a meeting for 9:30 a.m. on June 11, 2014 in Castlegar. KIST was formed 20 years ago to better respond to wildland/interface fires and to educate each other, municipal and provincial government staff, and the public on preventative measures that can be taken to curb one of the greatest hazards we face in the Kootenays. Please confirm your attendance, and advise of any special dietary needs (as lunch will be provided) to linda.harfman@gov.bc.ca by June 4, 2014. If you have any questions about the meeting or the overall initiative, please call any of the Co-Chairs: Mike Morrow – 250 426-1785 Gundula Brigl – 250 354-5904 Darrell Green – 250 354-5941

Participating Agencies BC Ambulance Service BC Parks Emergency Management BC Fire Departments Municipal and Rural Forest Licensees Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

GUIDING PRINCIPLE KIST uses the following guiding principle to develop successful wildland/urban interface programs: “No single agency or group can solve the problem. We must team with the people of the community and develop solutions to the issues most important to the wildland/ urban interface chalenge.” Note: While interface fire is one of the most prevalent risk factors that emergency managers face in southeastern British Columbia, the concepts and frameworks established with interface fire preorganization and networking are easily transferred to other emergency responses for all hazards.

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Municipalities Office of the Fire Commissioner Parks Canada

Regional Districts Royal Canadian Mounted Police


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SPRING BURNING Although clearing and burning activities at this time of year can mitigate interface wildfire risks, any open burning must be done safely. Homeowners and industry personnel are encouraged to visit the Wildfire Management Branch website at www.bcwildfire.ca/Prevention and take the following precautions:

Ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and prevent it from escaping.

Do not burn during windy conditions. Weather conditions can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.

Keep the fire a reasonable distance away from any flammable materials, including all trees and wooden structures.

Create a fireguard at least one metre around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material.

Never leave a fire unattended. Make sure that your fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before you leave the area for any length of time. Before conducting any burn, also check with your local fire department, municipality and regional district to see if any open burning restrictions or bylaws are in effect. If you are planning to do any large-scale industrial burning or conduct a grass burn over 0.2 hectares (Category 3 fires), you must obtain a burn registration number ahead of time by calling 1 888 797-1717. Always check the venting conditions before conducting an open burn. The venting index can be found online at: http://www.bcairquality.ca/readings/ventilation-index.html In British Columbia, the Wildfire Act specifies a person's legal obligations when using fire in or within one kilometre of forest land or grassland. If an outdoor burn escapes and causes a wildfire, the person responsible may be held accountable for damages and fire suppression costs.

Important Numbers Report a wildfire or unattended campfire

*5555 on a cell or 1 800 663-5555

Wildfire Information Line

1 888 3FOREST

Southeast Fire Centre Information

1 250 365-4014 or 1 250 365-4056

Want more information? Visit our website at www.bcwildfire.ca


Southeast External Newsletter May 30 2014