Kamloops Fire Centre Wildfire Newsletter - May 2016

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The May issue of the Kamloops Fire Centre Wildfire newsletter.

Text of Kamloops Fire Centre Wildfire Newsletter - May 2016

  • Kamloops Fire Centre 2016.05.11

    FireSmart your home At this time of the year, residents should FireSmart their properties. Below are some quick tips to FireSmart the three zones in and around your home. For more information, you can download the FireSmart Homeowners Manual.

    Regularly clean your roof, gutters, etc. of debris.

    Keep woodpiles, propane tanks, outbuildings and combustibles at least 10 metres away from your home.

    Regularly mow your lawn, and remove all deadfall and flammable vegetation.

    Space trees at least three metres apart.

    Prune all branches within two metres of the ground.

    Remove all flammable debris from the ground.

    Consider aspen, poplar and birch when planting in this zone.

    Thin and remove coniferous trees.

    Space dominant trees at least three metres apart.

    Remove any understory trees that are close other trees.

    Retain deciduous trees, which are more resistant to wildfire.



    # of


    # of


    Clearwater 0 0

    Kamloops 17 31

    Salmon 3 2

    Vernon 3 3

    Penticton 3 16

    Merritt 6 93

    Lillooet 4 35


    When it comes to wildfires, size

    can be an important issue. The BC

    Wildfire Service keeps track of

    how big a fire is by recording the

    number of hectares consumed.

    1 hectare (ha) is a metric unit that

    equals: 10,000 square metres,

    1 hectare equals about 2.47 acres.

    1 hectare is about the size of an

    average public sports field.


    Total fires: 36 Total hectares: 180

    The three priority zones where you should FireSmart your property.

    ZONE 2

    YARD10-30 metres

    ZONE 3

    LARGE YARDS30-100 metres

    ZONE 1

    HOME/YARD10 metres

  • P A G E 2

    Kamloops Fire Centre Newsletter May 2016

    Crew leader training

    From May 4 to May 11, 90 experienced BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) crew members from throughout British Columbia trained as new BCWS crew leaders in Kamloops. This provincial training boot camp included extensive coursework in important skills like leadership, aviation, safety, advanced fire behaviour and fire operations.

    Throughout the week of training, there were also several opportunities for the new crew leaders to test their leadership skills in practical field work. Crew leaders, grouped in teams of five, were given scenarios that required assertive yet attentive responses like medical emergencies and effective communication with members of the public.

    Each new crew leader also had to pass an exam to meet the standards of the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC). These individuals are dedicated, capable and ready to lead crews, this upcoming fire season.

    Working within our strike teams we learned a new set of skills and had the opportunity to apply

    them collaboratively in the field. The camp provided a solid foundation for the summer ahead.

    Aaron Hansen (pictured above on right)

    Crew Leader of a provincial rapattack crew

  • P A G E 3


    Temperature Relative Humidity

    These maps are for informational purposes only and should not be used to make operational decisions.

    Fire Danger Rating

    These maps are current for May 12, 2016

    For the most recent weather maps, please visit www.bcwildfire.ca/weather

  • P A G E 4

    Most recent forecast for Kamloops Fire Centre Valid as of 10:30 am Thursday, 12 May 2016

    SYNOPSIS: An upper low in the western Cariboo is making a moist airmass unstable. The upper low weakens this afternoon and retreats, leaving an upper trough across southern BC. A weak westerly flow aloft with an upper disturbance will trigger thundershowers this afternoon, with the most frequent lightning expected around the Okanagan. Other areas will likely see more scattered lightning. The thundershowers will dissipate tonight and skies will clear. Tomorrow will see an upper ridge pushing in from the south and giving a more stable airmass with sunny skies and slightly warmer temperatures. OUTLOOK: Wednesday through Friday. A slight possibility of subtropical moisture picked up in the southerly flow from the upper ridge on Friday bringing thunderstorms on Saturday as another upper low tracks through the northern US, weakening as it progresses. Temperatures will continue in the mid to upper 20s. A split westerly flow on Sunday will bring a few cloudy periods and little change in temperature. Monday will see an upper trough pushing into the BC Interior through the Central Coast with more instability and showers. Temperatures will cool one or two degrees. WINDS ALOFT: 1,500 metres: N 5-10 km/h 3,000 metres: Variable 5-10 km/h 5,000 metres: W 30-50 km/h 6 TO 10-DAY: Troughing giving cooler and more unsettled conditions. ZONE FORECASTS SIMILKAMEEN, FRASER CANYON, NICOLA, SOUTH THOMPSON, SHUSWAP, NORTH THOMPSON: TODAY: Afternoon cloudy periods with a 30% chance of thundershowers. MAX TEMP: 20-24 MIN RH: 25-40% WINDS: N-E 15-25 km/h. TONIGHT: Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of evening thundershowers. Clearing overnight. MIN TEMP: 8-12 MAX RH: 70-85% TOMORROW: Mainly sunny. MAX TEMP: 22-26 MIN RH: 20-35% WINDS: N-E 15-25 km/h. CHANCE OF LIGHTNING / DRY LIGHTNING Today: 30/20 Tonight: 30/20 Tomorrow: 10/10 OKANAGAN: TODAY: Afternoon cloudy periods with a 70% chance of thundershowers. Clearing by morning. MAX TEMP: 20-24 MIN RH: 25-40% WINDS: N-E 15-25 km/h. TONIGHT: Partly cloudy with a 70% chance of evening thundershowers. Clearing overnight. MIN TEMP: 8-12 MAX RH: 70-85% TOMORROW: Mainly sunny. MAX TEMP: 22-26 MIN RH: 20-35% WINDS: N-E 15-25 km/h. CHANCE OF LIGHTNING / DRY LIGHTNING Today: 70/30 Tonight: 70/30 Tomorrow: 10/10

    Kamloops Fire

    Centre Statistics

    Since April 1, 2016:

    Fires to date: 36

    Hectares burned: 180

    Person-caused fires: 31

    Lightning-caused fires: 5

    2009 at this time:

    Fires to date: 84

    Hectares burned: 808

    Person-caused fires: 78

    Lightning-caused fires: 2

    2003 at this time:

    Fires to date: 21

    Hectares burned: 45

    Person-caused fires: 19

    Lightning-caused fires: 1

  • P A G E 5

    Kamloops Fire Centre Newsletter May 2016

    Open burning prohibition

    Effective at noon on May 15, 2016, Category 2 and Category 3 open fires will be prohibited in all zones of the Kamloops Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect the public. Anyone conducting Category 2 or 3 fires must extinguish any such fires by noon on May 15, 2016. Due to current and forecasted weather patterns of hot and dry conditions, the prohibition is intended to reduce wildfire risks in the region.

    This prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide (or smaller) and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

    Currently, the fire danger rating ranges from moderate to high.

    Since April 1, Kamloops Fire Centre crews have responded to 36 wildfires. Many of these wildfires have resulted from poorly planned open burning.

    Prohibited activities include:

    Burning of any waste, slash or other materials larger than one-half metre by one-half metre.

    Burning of more than two open fires of any size at the same time.

    Stubble or grass fires of any size over any area. The use of fireworks, sky lanterns or burning

    barrels of any size or description. We encourage all homeowners to FireSmart their properties and homes, as explained on Page 1. This prohibition will be in effect until Oct. 15, 2016 or until further notice.

    This prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but it does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest-fire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department. Before lighting any fire, residents should check with local authorities regarding any current prohibitions.

    Check the link below for the latest information

    on burning restrictions in your area:



    The Kamloops Fire Centre would like to thank

    the public for its continued help in preventing

    wildfires. If you see flames or smoke, call 1 800

    663-5555 toll-free or dial *5555 on your


    Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for

    $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to

    $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wild-

    fire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

  • P A G E 6

    Kamloops Fire Centre IndicesAugust 27, 2015

    For general weather information, visit: http://bcwildfire.ca/Weather/

    Want more weather information?

    View an interactive map of B.C.s weather stations here: http://


    View a daily list of danger class ratings here: http://bcwildfire.ca/


    Learn how danger class ratings relate to industry operations here: http://


  • P A G E 7

    Kamloops Fire Centre Indices

    The FFMC (Fine Fuel Moisture Code) is a

    code that measures the dryness of fine

    fuels (grasses, needles, etc.). A number of