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

County council tweaks meeting times for 2019

Council, Planning and Public Works meetings defined Nov. 6

Red Deer Cookies a big hit for Christmas

If you want a change, try chicken lasagna

Mandatory curtailment is a tough call…but what else can Alberta do?

Environmentalists, various levels of government and courts devestate energy industry

County of Wetaskiwin council balks at $5,000 aboriginal course

Councilors concerned about $800 per person charge for certain courses

Questions about Chinese company’s spying ability are familiar

PROMIS software in 80’s let Americans spy on allies

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

Sex-assault squad investigated eight incidents at Toronto all-boys’ school

The interim president of a Roman Catholic all-boys school rocked by student-on-student abuse allegations said the football program was cancelled for next year.

Coal power in Canada must disappear by the end of 2029, new regulations say

Canada has significantly cut its dependence on coal largely due to the closure of all coal plants in Ontario.

‘Naive approach’ to China at fault in Meng mess: Scheer

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called on the Trudeau government to “unequivocally denounce any type of repercussions to Canadians on foreign soil.”

Omar Khadr ‘a model of compliance,’ wants changes to bail conditions: lawyer

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr is back in court today to seek changes to bail conditions.

Supreme Court upholds Canada’s right to reargue facts in assisted-dying case

Julia Lamb and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association are spearheading a challenge of the law

Guards injured, money stolen during overnight blast at Edmonton bank

Alberta Health Services said the injuries to the male guard were serious

‘I thought I was dead as soon as I saw the gun’

Keremeos gas station attendant tells story about man with gun coming to store

‘People talk about deep sadness:’ Scientists study climate change grief

Some call it environmental grief, some call it solastalgia — a word coined for a feeling of homesickness when home changes around you.

Most Read