Summer outlook

Warm and dry summer ahead; increased risk of wildfires

Environment Canada forecast says July and August will bring warmer than normal temperatures, as well as a drier weather pattern. Although these conditions might be great for a summer vacation, they also increase the risk of wildfire activity.

Olivia Pojar, fire information officer for the Northwest Fire Centre, said the B.C. Wildfire Service closely monitors long-term forecasts as part of the maintenance of appropriate preparedness levels.

“The B.C. Wildfire Service operates over 200 automated weather stations to record hourly weather observations that are interpreted by a fire weather forecaster assigned to the Northwest Fire Centre,” she explained.

“June can bring significant precipitation in the form of rain, and these June rains can help reduce the dryness of forest fuels as the summer progresses,” she added.

Since April 1, 2017 to mid June there have been 22 wildfires in region which is in line with the 10-year average for this period.

Summer is expected to be drier than normal for most areas across B.C. AccuWeather senior meteorologist Brett Anderson said the projected drier weather pattern across the southern interior favours a higher number of days above 30 C compared to normal.

Meanwhile much of the country is expected to have a “warm to very warm” summer. The exception will be from Labrador and northern Quebec to Atlantic Canada.