Snow is melting, American robins have returned and crocuses are peeking through the ground. Spring has officially sprung in Revelstoke.
Only 170 cm of snow fell in Revelstoke this winter, which is the fourth lowest on record in the last 115 years. The city keeps track of snow levels at the public works department, near the arena.
The valley snowpack is significantly lower this year compared to 2020. On March 18, there was eight cm of snow at the airport. Last year on the same date there were 79 cm or approximately 90 per cent more snow.
While there is little snow in the valley, Parks Canada said there is above average snow at higher elevations. At the Mt. Fidelity weather station in Glacier National Park, there was 334 cm of snow on March 17. The average snow level since 1965 for the same date is approximately 300 cm.
The alpine snowpack typically reaches its thickest of the year in March.
April 1 is officially the start of fire season in B.C. While the valley snowpack is thin, it does not necessarily mean an extreme wildfire season is to be expected, said Taylor Colman, a provincial fire information officer.
Precipitation levels and frequency during the spring have a larger impact, she said.
Regardless, a lower snowpack could mean more fires starting earlier. Kamloops has already had five fires this year.
Spring can be a dangerous time for fires to ignite as the melting snow reveals dried-out vegetation.
“People cannot be complacent,” said Colman.
The majority of fires in the spring are caused by humans.
The BC Wildfire Service expects to release a fire forecast for the province on April 12.