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September 4, 2020 – Seasonal Outlook Update

This document contains August Statistics from Environment Canada, Lightning Statistics, Wildfire Seasons 2020 Update, Fuel Dryness, Monthly & Seasonal Forecast, as well as a summary.

September 4, 2020 – Seasonal Outlook

There were 303 new wildfire starts during the month of August in British Columbia. Of those 303 new wildfires, 192 were confirmed to be started by lightning. The majority of wildfire ignitions continue to be in the southern half of the province due to a combination of a dry July and August with significant lightning events.

September 4, 2020 – Seasonal Outlook Summary

No significant changes to current indices as we progress through the first half of September. The north will continue to have moderate fire behaviour with the south east remaining the hot spot.

Mid-August 2020 Seasonal Outlook

The first half of August saw hot and dry conditions across the southern half of British Columbia. These conditions dried out fuels, increased wildfire risk and supported the ignition and development of lightning-caused wildfires. A lightning event moved across the province on August 16th and 17th, bringing little to no rain with it. The result of this event sparked 91 wildfires throughout the Coastal, Kamloops and Southeast fire centres.

August 2020 Seasonal Outlook

The 2020 B.C. wildfire season has been wetter than normal with limited amount of drying days with the exception being the second half of July. Southern B.C. had several warm and dry days which allowed smaller fuels to dry out. The result was several lightning-caused ignitions where steep slopes and smaller fuels drove the spread of these fires. Suppression activities were successful as larger fuels had not yet had a chance to fully dry.

Mid-July 2020 BCWS Seasonal Outlook

The 2020 wildfire season continues to be slower-than-average. Since the beginning of the month there have been 36 new wildfires in B.C. Of those, five fires have grown over one hectare and seven are confirmed lightning ignitions. Additionally, there have been 124 nuisance fires throughout the province.

July 2020 BCWS Seasonal Outlook

British Columbia continues to have a slower start to the 2020 wildfire season with wildfire occurrence being below average for this time of year. As forecasted in the June 5, 2020 Seasonal Outlook the province received wide spread rain which helped reduce wildfire risk.

June 2020 BCWS Seasonal Outlook

Seasonal summary to date: The 2020 wildfire season began with drier-than-normal conditions. In April, fires spread quickly through valley bottoms where light fuels, such as grasses, dried out quickly due to dry winds and low humidity.