Low snowpack may mean a longer fire season

“Conditions are not extreme” so no special preparations are required

The Cariboo Fire Centre has a shiny new asset this season in the form of a $7.1 million new centre

The Cariboo Fire Centre has a shiny new asset this season in the form of a $7.1 million new centre

With the snow melting and warmer temperatures, the Cariboo is soon heading into the next fire season. Natasha Broznitsky, information officer with the Cariboo Fire Centre, says it’s difficult to say what the coming season will bring.

“Predicting the severity of the upcoming fire season at this stage is difficult to do. While long term weather models may indicate trends over time, weather cannot be reliably forecasted more than a few days in advance. Having said this, snowpack levels are one means of forecasting whether we’ll see an early or late start to the fire season. Still they’re not a good indicator of how intense the season might be. Some low areas and values around the Cariboo fire centre have a lower than average snowpack for this time of year, so we may see an earlier start of the fire season in those areas, however, if below freezing temperatures and new snowfall continue, we may not,” she said.

According to Broznisky, the low snowpack levels have not changed their approach to the upcoming season.

“The conditions are not extreme and do not require us to prepare for this year differently than in other years. As in other years, fire crews have begun to return in early March and all of our seasonal staff will be back to work by early May.”

Broznisky would also like to caution the public to be as fire safe as possible.

“In the spring almost all fires are human-caused and therefore completely preventable. Anyone who lights a fire needs to be cautious. As the snow melts, dead grass and other fuels are uncovered and dry out. Fires can start easily and spread quickly in fuel conditions such as this, particularly if there’s any wind present.”

If you would like to report a wildfire, call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555.