B.C. heat wave may increase wildfire activity but reduce lightning starts: BCWS

B.C. heat wave may increase wildfire activity but reduce lightning starts: BCWS
Trees burned by the Bush Creek East Wildfire are seen above Little Shuswap Lake in Squilax, B.C., Monday, Sept. 11, 2023.

As sweltering heat sets in over much of British Columbia, the province’s wildfire authority is warning that dry conditions will increase the potential for wildfire activity.

But the BC Wildfire Service says the above average temperatures, which are expected to continue into next week, also lowers the risk of lightning that can spark blazes.

It says there are about 90 fires currently burning in B.C., noting 73 per cent of them were caused by lightning.

None are considered Wildfires of Note, which are highly visible and may pose a threat to public safety, but the service is reporting about 20 are classified as burning out of control.

One such blaze is the Patry Creek fire about 60 kilometres north of Fort Nelson, which the service upgraded to “out of control” on Friday after warm, dry, windy weather set in.

It says that blaze is now expected to grow beyond its current perimeter, but does not pose an immediate threat to the community.

Environment Canada has issued heat warnings for more than two dozen regions across the province, noting the worst of the heat wave is expected to start Sunday and last into next week.

READ MORE: Heat warning issued for East Vancouver Island

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2024.

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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