'Summer of the fire': Senior climatologist doesn’t see B.C. wildfires letting up


As more than 1,000 firefighters battle the out-of-control wildfires in British Colombia, Environment Canada’s senior climatologist Dave Phillips spoke to CTV News Channel about what’s causing the hazardous conditions.

“It’s been too dry, too hot, for too long,” he said. “It’s like putting a giant dome over Western Canada, particularly in British Colombia and it’s not allowing any weather to come in.”

According to Phillips, interior B.C. hasn’t seen rain in 28 days and hasn’t had more than a “thimble-full” in 53 days.

The lack of air combined with record-high temperatures, humidity levels comparable to those you see in a dessert, and wind gusts mean perfect conditions for wildfires, says Phillips.

He adds that because the fires are all over the place, emergency services can’t mobilize to one area, making it difficult to gain control.

As for what’s in store for the future, Phillips says that there might be “a little bit of relief tomorrow,” as temperatures drop to a more seasonable range.

As for long-term, Phillips says things will be much of the same.

“This will the summer of the fire,” he said. “The rest of July and August will be warmer than normal and drier than normal.”

As the dome of hot weather moves eastward, Phillips says that everyone is on high-alert for potential forest fires.

“The threat is there for all of Western Canada,” he said.

But Phillips assures anyone further east of Manitoba that there isn’t anything to worry about, there’s been way too much rain for grassfires, forest fires or wildfires.



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