The return of wet weather across much of BC has washed away extremely dry conditions across much of the province, and most open fire prohibitions.
While growers on the South Coast have received a month’s worth of rain in recent days, hampering harvest, government scientists deemed conditions right for removing restrictions on open fires in the Kamloops, Southeast and Coastal fire centres, effective at noon on September 18.
This leaves the Cariboo fire centre as the only region where restrictions remain, with open fires limited to Category 2; larger Category 3 fires remain banned.
The dramatic shift in moisture conditions across the province is evident on the provincial drought map. Just one basin in the province, the Coldwater between the Nicola and Similkameen, remains at the highest drought rating of extremely dry. Fifteen others, primarily those in the eastern half of the province as well as western Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii are rated normal. Ten are dry, and are primarily located along the west coast of the province’s mainland. The remaining six are very dry, and stretch from eastern Vancouver Island to the Similkameen.
The monthly weather report from climatologist Greg Jones of Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, forecasts a wet month. “Some precipitation is forecast for the northwest, likely more than we want,” he says, while noting that it’s tough to say when the fall rains will begin in earnest.