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

Stetski calls for federal action on opioid crisis

The NDP MP for Kootenay-Columbia spoke in the house on the issue

Retailers feel impact of generous return policies

Technology data tracking can clamp down on fraudulent abuse

Several thefts reported to the Revelstoke RCMP today

All took place between 4th St. and 8th St. East of Mackenzie Ave.

Revelstoke Skating Club hosts Christmas performance

The Revelstoke Skating Club hosted their annual Christmas performance last Thursday evening.… Continue reading

Two shutouts for the Grizzlies over the weekend

The Revelstoke Grizzlies played two home games last weekend against the Chase… Continue reading

Story of the Year: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Trump signs order to create US Space Command

President Donald Trump signs an executive order to create a U.S. Space Command.

Groups preparing new pipeline legal challenge, argue government’s mind made up

A Vancouver-based environment charity is readying itself to go back to court if the federal government reapproves the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Notorious Toronto triple killer gets third consecutive life sentence

Dellen Millard gets third consecutive life sentence for father’s death.

‘Subdued’ housing market predicted in B.C. through 2021: report

The Central 1 Credit Union report predicts “rising but subdued sales” over the next three years, with little movement in median home prices.

A journey through 2018’s top pop culture moments

Was there any pop culture this year? Of course there was.

‘A stronger Alberta:’ Ottawa announces $1.6B for Canada’s oil and gas sector

Price of Alberta oil plummeted so low that Alberta’s Premier said Canada was practically giving it away

Wicked weather, including heavy snow, rainfall, hammers southern B.C.

Environment Canada has posted winter storm warnings for the Coquihalla Highway, Highway 3

Caretaker jailed, must pay back money after stealing $260K from elderly B.C. couple

Antonette Dizon, now 50, had been hired to provide extra care for Henry and Helen Abfalter

Most Read