Thursday 6 July 2017

Fires and Fog Zones

Coastal BC, including Vancouver Island, is known for its rainfall. Those rains feed the amazing temperate rainforest that blankets much of the coastline, and is the cause of the nickname The Wet Coast. However, while much of the year can be wet it isn't wet all year. The beauty of the west coast is that summers are often warm and dry.

Warm and dry summers are wonderful for those who live here, making the trade off of warm, wet winters a good one. However, dry conditions are not always a good mix with people and forests. Wildfires happen naturally enough with lightening strikes during dry weather. Wildfires from human causes are a problem. 

Most summers, if the conditions are typical, the province implements a fire ban. This year the ban went into effect at noon today (July 6) for all of the coast. No campfires, no backyard fires, no beach fires.

Unless, that is, you are in the fog zone. This is something else particular to the coast, a slim stretch of coast along the open ocean that gets a lot of fog and damp air, even when the rest of the coast is experiencing warm, dry summers. The fog zone is exempt from the fire ban.

The dry weather also greatly impacts our forestry and reforestation workers, as work can be shut down in the summer if it is felt that the dry conditions cause danger with the machinery or risk from fires. Salmon bearing rivers are impacted as well, and rivers with dams are carefully controlled to make sure there is still enough water in the system for salmon habitat not to be damaged.

As true islanders and west coasters, we here at the BCO office will make the most of our warm, dry summer - even if it means no campfires for a while.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

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