British Columbia’s record-breaking heatwave and dry June have combined to create the necessary environment for “very large fire growth” in July.
According to BC Wildfire Service’s seasonal outlook, there is a “strong likelihood” that the warm, dry weather will persist throughout the coming month.
The lack of rain has led grass and other fire fuel to dry up, which in turn has pushed wildfire behaviour three to four weeks ahead of schedule.
Current conditions are not typically seen until mid-July or August, the outlook noted.
“Recent weather and fuel conditions have made initial attack challenging, meaning large fires will likely be occurring throughout the province,” the wildfire service said.
“The Okanagan and southern Cariboo regions are showing very high hazard. Significant rain is required to reduce the hazard. However, none is forecast in the foreseeable future.”
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There have been 785 wildfires reported in BC this year. As of July 8, there are 206 active wildfires in the province, 31 of which began in the last two days.