B.C. heat wave possible harbinger of long, smoky wildfire season: expert
By Derrick Penner
Wildfire expert Mike Flannigan had a wary eye on BC’s heat wave in the days before taking up his post as a researcher at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops. Rising temperatures are “climate change in action,” he said. “And heat and fires are connected, because the hotter it is, the longer the fire season.” …To Flannigan, the summer of 2021 looks a lot like how the 2017 fire season… started. Only this year, it is shaping up sooner. “Conditions are still extreme in any parts of BC,” Flannigan warned. “If it’s a hot, dry summer, fire is going to be with us all summer, and the associated smoke.” …Flanigan will be joined in 2022 by fire ecologist Jill Harvey, a Canada Research Chair in fire ecology, as part of an effort to help B.C. adapt to the “new normal” of heightened wildfire risk in the midst of the climate crisis.