Greater Victoria to see 20-degree temps this week as fire crews prep for potentially busy season


Like other fire departments on the South Island, Metchosin’s crews are well-aware of the parched conditions facing the region.

“The leaves are already crispy, the grass, everything is very dry already,” said Metchosin’s Fire Smart coordinator Gloria Lejour.

It is one of the reasons why the department is hoping to consult with residents to create pre-fire plans including information on water availability and access issues.

The department will also look at the availability of sprinklers to aid in fighting brush and forest fires.

“It’ll be nice to have our officers to have a little bit of a plan to go into action with,” said Gavin Aubrey, who is heading up the project.

“We’re also adding a sprinkler protection plan on top of that because we are an interface community.”

Even with rain and cooler than normal temperatures throughout the month of April, this spring has been a dry one, with drought-like conditions building throughout the fall and winter months.

“We had our winter of course and we had some snow and some rain, but it did not really amount to a huge amount during those active months,” said Armel Castellan, a warning preparedness meteorologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Greater Victoria’s forecast for the upcoming week shows things are warming up, including 20+ degree weather over the weekend. (Environment Canada)

“Now we’re dealing with spring evolving a little bit cooler, yes, but not necessarily a lot wetter.”

Warm weather is on the way for Victoria this week, with Environment and Climate Change Canada forecasting temperatures in the 20s throughout the weekend.

“We’re going to start to see the ridge really starts to shape up as of now, but really it’s going to start to make those temperatures go well above seasonal,” said Castellan.

The dry conditions have forecasters concerned for the potential of a busy wildfire season, with the BC Wildfire Service showing 20 active fires already burning on their fire dashboard.

It’s something fire departments say residents should start preparing their properties for.

“People are starting to do their gardening now, so it’s a great time to start thinking about what plants you’re putting around your home and making sure you’re choosing fire resistant options,” said Lejour.

With B.C.’s seasonal forecast showing temperatures rising in May, things could get a lot more dry depending on snow pack melt and rainfall in the next two months.

Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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