Today’s Poll

British Columbians urged to remain cautious as water levels stabilize, wildfire risk increases

Province of British Columbia
By Province of British Columbia
May 9th, 2023

Lighter than expected rainfall last weekend has relieved pressure on watersheds in B.C.’s Interior, however, people are urged to remain vigilant as conditions can change quickly and warm temperatures are expected this weekend.

Based on forecasting from Environment and Climate Change Canada and the River Forecast Centre, precipitation levels for this week are expected to be mild, which will give rivers and streams in the Interior time to stabilize.

Warming temperatures into this weekend (May 12-14) are expected to progress the snowmelt at higher elevations, which may reintroduce pressure on watersheds in the Interior and increase the risk of wildfire.

With this stretch of heat, the Province encourages people to stay cool and hydrated. It is important that people keep themselves and others safe during warmer-than-average temperatures.

The water level of Bonaparte River is expected to see an increase Monday, May 8, with stabilizing conditions expected this week. Cache Creek, Kettle River and Granby River (Grand Forks) are expected to stabilize through the week, below levels experienced in the 2018 flood.

The River Forecast Centre is monitoring weather patterns and river conditions to watch for changes that could contribute to increased flood hazard. The River Forecast Centre website has updated flood warning and advisory notifications, including a map of areas of heightened flood risk.

As of 1 p.m. on Monday, May 8, there is a flood warning in effect for the Lower Thompson, including Cache Creek, Deadman River, Criss Creek, Bonaparte River and surrounding areas around Cache Creek and Skeetchestn. In addition, flood watches are in effect for:

  • Guichon Creek;
  • Salmon River near Falkland and Salmon Arm; and
  • Middle Fraser including the Cariboo mountains and tributaries east of Quesnel (including Quesnel River, Little Swift River) and surrounding areas.

The Province is closely co-ordinating with communities affected by floods. Provincial assets, including sandbags, sandbag machines and temporary retaining walls, have been deployed to communities at risk of potential flooding. Local governments and First Nations will have the most up-to-date information available about where people can pick up sandbags.

There are currently 62 active wildfires in the province, with two new fires over the past 24-hours. Of these 62 active incidents, 91% are under control or being held. Only five active incidents remain out of control.

The BC Wildfire Service is also providing wildfire response support to Alberta and has deployed one Incident Management Team (a group of highly skilled personnel with experience managing complex wildfire events), structure protection crews and equipment.

The Province is encouraging people in the affected areas to remain vigilant and have a household plan in place.

This includes putting together a grab-and-go bag that includes essentials such as a first-aid kit, food and water, and important documents such as insurance papers and birth certificates.

People are also encouraged to connect with neighbours, pre-register with Emergency Support Services and stay connected with their First Nation or local government for updates and advisories.

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Categories: General