A picture of the Goode Creek wildfire south of Kelowna, B.C. on Aug. 1, 2018. Image contributed by Nicole Hemeon Photography.

Global infernos create firefighter shortage

Wildfire resources are being put to the test around the world as fires burn out of control.

B.C.’s firefighting resources are stretched thin and without the help they usually get from international crews.

Traditionally, the BC Wildfire Service has been able to enlist the help of firefighters from other provinces and countries, but right now infernos from Greece to California are keeping them busy.

This means relief is not easily accessible for B.C.’s firefighters

B.C. firefighters work 14 days straight before they take mandated rest days for operational safety. This means the wildfire service may be forced to have fewer firefighters on each of the fires in B.C. while crews get some rest.

“We are working to get in more resources to replace those folks and reassess between fires,” said fire information officer Claire Allen.

On top of the fires within B.C., destructive and deadly wildfires are burning in Ontario, California and Greece, just to name a few.

Related: Five homes evacuated due to increased activity at Snowy Mountain wildfire

Related: Wildfires scorching homes, land – and California’s budget

Related: Forensics experts work on identifying the dead in Greek fire

Related: Dozens of wildfires out of control in Ontario

“It is certainly a crazy time for wildfires, not just in B.C. and Canada but across all of North American and even globally,” said Allen.

“Resources are stretched pretty thin across the world. The European Union is very tried up in Greece and Sweden, Australia has been called on pretty heavily for fires throughout the northern hemisphere.”

This global problem of destructive wildfires is not new in 2018, it is an ongoing pattern of increasing fire activity that has been called the “new normal”.

Studies worldwide have shown that wildfires are increasing in number and scale, and becoming increasingly an urban problem.

According to a U.S. study, the National Climate Assessment, climate change is increasing the vulnerability of many U.S. forests through fire, insect infestations, drought, and disease outbreaks.

With global temperatures rising, the consensus from scientists is that wildfires are likely to become increasingly frequent and widespread.

“The effects of global warming on temperature, precipitation levels, and soil moisture are turning many of our forests into kindling during wildfire season,” wrote the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“As the world warms, we can expect more wildfires.”

Related: Okanagan wildfires have potential to become firestorms

Related: ‘Think about the firefighters’: Butt out, stay safe and obey campfire bans

Related: B.C. 2017 disaster report: Extreme weather here to stay

Related: B.C.’s devastating 2017 wildfire season revisited in new book

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@carmenweld
carmen.weld@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

GoFundMe helps Vancouver Island teen battle a rare cancer

Nanaimo’s Michelle Reilly, 16, battling spinal cord cancer, seeking possible treatment in U.S.

Saanich police are seeking suspect in sexual assault report

Incident happened early Saturday morning near Rudd Park

Saanich to hear update on regional sewage treatment plant

Likely subjects of presentation include fate of trees along Grange Road, costs

Canadian students are smart cookies

Canadian teachers also among highest paid in the developed world

Local fundraising initiative addresses tampon recall

Period Posse checking donations during 10-day campaign

Langford elementary school kids test their hand at entrepreneurship

Students sold their own products at a Young Entrepreneurs Fair Friday

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

Most Read