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HomeNewsSpring heatwave likely to elevate wildfire risk, spring runoff in the north

Spring heatwave likely to elevate wildfire risk, spring runoff in the north

Wildfire and flood mitigation efforts will be put to the test this weekend as a band of warm weather enters much of Northern BC.

Daytime highs over the next several days will reach into the high 20s and low 30s in places like Prince George, Vanderhoof, and Smithers.

Environment Canada Meteorologist, Brian Proctor told Vista Radio it will feel a lot like mid-summer.

“Temperatures for this time of year, typically our max is 17 degrees for Prince George and overnight lows about three. For today, we are looking at a high of 24 degrees for a high and a low of about nine. By Monday, we will have highs of about 30 and a low of about six – well above seasonal values.”

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Proctor added we might see some new temperature records toward the end of the weekend.

“Record temperatures are about 29 degrees for the 14th (Sunday) for PG itself and 27 degrees on the 15th. So, we are looking very closely at that kind of value, we are looking at forecasting a record temperature on the 15th and near records on the 14th. It’s really going to depend on how strong the ridge is.”

He mentioned with daytime highs approaching the 30-degree mark, the wildfire risk is likely to rise.

“We are going to see the risk increase throughout the weekend as we get those temperatures in there as the drying will be continuing. So, if you are going to be out there, be cognizant of what you are doing and the kind of things you are doing out on the land so you don’t exacerbate the problem.”

So far, there are 40 fires burning in B.C., including three of note in the Prince George Fire Centre.

In addition, areas like Prince George and the Robson Valley remain under a High Streamflow Advisory – residents should exercise caution if they find themselves near streams and rivers.

“Be prepared to stay away from areas that are flooded. A key thing of this message is that if you see lots of water, turn around and don’t try to go across those areas is the best form of communication in regards to any flooding that may be occurring.”

“People should expect the streams to be rising right through this period,” added Proctor.

A special weather statement remains in place for much of the region and the interior. The BC River Forecast Centre is projecting a wave of runoff bringing a period of increased flood hazard throughout the Province.

“Flood watches are those areas from south of Prince George down to the Quesnel area and those warnings a little further south down to the Cache Creek area but we do have a lot of high streamflow advisories and I would expect those conditions to be exacerbated as we move through the weekend,” said Proctor.

Meanwhile in Alberta, about 300 Canadian Armed Forces members are arriving in Alberta to help in the fight against dozens of wildfires burning in the province.

They’ll be joining about 15 hundred personnel already on the front lines, with almost 300 more firefighters from other provinces and the U-S.

This includes a 16-member Incident Management Team from the Prince George Fire Centre.

There are 74 fires burning, including 11 wildfires of note. More than 16-thousand people remain out of their homes.

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