Monday, July 22, 2024

Here’s why it smells like smoke in and around Victoria this Friday


Things might be getting a bit smoky in the southern regions of the island today for two reasons. 

The first being, on Friday, September 22nd, a prescribed burn will take place near the Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot at Rocky Point. 

The specific timing of the burn is still to be determined and will depend on weather and site conditions.

“Burning will proceed if conditions are suitable and allow for smoke dispersal during burn operations, though light smoke may linger in the following days,” said the Coastal Fire Service in a media release. 

The Coastal Fire Service has planned this burn and they will be supervising it making sure that the only area that burns is the one they intended on burning.

The area to be burned is around 50 hectares and the site is approximately three kilometres southeast of Matheson Lake or 13 kilometres southeast of Sooke. 

Approximate location of controlled burn (Google Maps)

The aim of this burn is to mitigate wildfire risks, maintain open landscapes for military training purposes and to protect and restore rare Garry Oak ecosystems in the surrounding area which support a vast number of at-risk species. 

By doing this, the likelihood of a naturally occurring wildfire which cannot be controlled is far higher and could be catastrophic to the area and its inhabitants. 

The Coastal Fire Service say has been conducting controlled burns on this land since 2017 and will continue to do so going forward to best prepare the ecosystems for longevity and resilience. 

There is still currently a fire ban on all types of fires in BC with the exception of propane-based fires. 

The BC Wildfire Service is well equipped to ensure the controlled burn does not spread to other areas or get out of hand.

In addition to this controlled burn, norther winds have been bringing smoke up from Washington where there are a handful of wildfires in the nearby Olympic Mountains region. predicts that smoke will remain over Vancouver Island until midday on Saturday, September 23rd.

Curtis Blandy

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