Sun. Aug 19th, 2018

Final Final Update 10:50PM Day 5 – Fire Grows to over 160 Hectares – Mapping the Fire – Controlled Burn and Mars Testing Weather Permitting

  • Vancouver Island Inland Sections Forecast - SPECIAL AIR QUALITY STATEMENT IN EFFECT
    Issued: 3:34 PM PDT Saturday 18 August 2018

    Forecast Issued 4:00 PM PDT Saturday 18 August 2018 - Saturday night: Clear. Local smoke. Low 11. Sunday: Sunny. Local smoke. High 33. Humidex 36. UV index 7 or high. Sunday night: Clear. Local smoke. Low 12. Monday: Sunny. High 34. Monday night: Clear. Low 12. Tuesday: Sunny. High 34. Tuesday night: Clear. Low 13. Wednesday: Sunny. High 24. Wednesday night: Cloudy periods. Low 14. Thursday: Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. High 21. Thursday night: Cloudy periods. Low 13. Friday: A mix of sun and cloud. High 20.

  • Current Conditions
    Temperature
    22.4° C
    -1.7 ° C/hr
    Barometer
    101.82 kPa
    0.0
    Wind
    N/A 0.0 km/h
    gusting 3.2 km/h
    Humidity
    55 %
    Rain Rate
    0.0 mm/hr
    Wind Chill
    22.4° C
    Heat Index
    22.4° C
    Dewpoint
    12.9° C
    UV
    0.0
    Solar
    0 W/m2
    Last Updated: 20:35:00 PDT
    Click to Refresh or See All Conditions
  • Day Almanac
    Day's Rain
    0.0 mm
    Day ET
    0.0 mm mm
    Rain Storm
    NotAvailable mm
    Civil Rise
    05:39
    Moon Phase
    First quarter (59% full)
    Civil Set
    21:05
    Day Length
    13:22:59
    Day High
    29.8° C @ 15:23 Tdy.
    Day Low
    11.7° C @ 06:30 Tdy.
    Day High Rain Rate
    0.0mm/hr00:00
    Day High Barometer
    102.42 kPa @ 07:58 Tdy.
    Day Low Barometer
    101.79 kPa @ 19:44 Tdy.
    Day Low Windchill
    11.7° C @ 06:30 Tdy.
    Day High Heat Index
    29.8° C @ 15:23 Tdy.
    Day High Wind Gust
    S 16.3km/h @ 16:05 Tdy.
    Day High Solar Radiation
    1220W/m2 @ 13:26 Tdy.
    Day High UV Index
    7.8 @ 13:25 Tdy.

Final Final Update 10:50PM

WIldfire service just updated their statement on the website.  Here is the important part that deals with the ignition and rumours of jumping.

More information
The staged ignition was completed today. A heli-drip torch was used to ignite the burn area, and the fire met its objective to produce a moderate intensity ground fire.

It is expected that this fire will produce smoky conditions for two to three days after which the smoke should start to dissipate.

There were a number of posting to social media and second hand reports provided to our reporting centre about burning taking place elsewhere than in the burn area. We took these reports seriously, and relayed this information to the two helicopters tasked with looking for any spots that might have occurred from the ignition. None were found. We would like the public’s help – please, if you see anything, call the information in. The detail that the observer sees is valuable information. Please call 1 800 663-5555 or *5555 on your cell phone if you see a forest fire or column of smoke.

 

Final Update 10:25PM

I am going on there being no direct or official confirmation of the fire jumping.  There are crews on the ground checking and monitoring so if there is anything out there, they will find it.

If anyone sees a plume of smoke that they think is not part of the Dog Mountain Fire itself, the best thing is to call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555  ASAP so the Fire Service can check it and call them back to see if they have confirmed it.  

Smoke can be very deceiving in our terrain and with the wind constantly shifting so if you don’t actually see flame you might not be seeing fire.  

Air Quality readings are back online.  Here is the 9PM update.  It’s back above 20 and it definitely spiked again during the day though not as badly as Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 10.19.38 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 10.20.00 PM

 

Have a great night and stay safe, and calm, out there.  The firefighters remain, doing their job the best they can.  I know that they know that they have a whole Valley and Province behind them cheering them on.

The ACRD released a news release on the fire.

The last update from BC Wildfire has the fire at 245 hectares. There are now 35 firefighters and 4 helicopters on the fire.  The controlled burn has happened so it will be smokey for the next few days.

Update 9:19PM

Update 8:30PM

Unconfirmed report that the fire has jump across in the “Z” area to the other side of the lake which would have it threaten Fossli Park.

DogMointainMapI am working hard to get visual confirmation of this.

I have also heard that the controlled burn has taken place.

Will update soon.

 

UPDATE 10:45AM

 

UPDATE 10:30AM

 

We have entered Day 5 of the saga that has been the Dog Mountain Fire.  I may not update this post as frequently today.  Keep an eye on my twitter feed at http:www.twitter.com/alberniweather for updates.

Map your Pictures

Last night I created the picture below.

I also made this webpage: http://alberniweather.ca/dogmountainfiremap

As of last night when I created this map readers have indicated that the major hotspots of the fire are:

  • between J and K
  • near A
  • between T and U

If you are taking pictures of the fire, please feel free to use this resource to help pinpoint and describe where the pictures are.  Time and date are also always important.  I hope this resource helps with some of the confusion.

How big is, and will be, the fire?

The AVNews is reporting this morning that the fire is 160 hectares.

Someone asked me if this fire could grow to, say, 1000 hectares?  So I pulled out Google Earth again to see just how big the Dog Mountain Peninsula is.  Here is the answer from Google Earth which stuns me constantly with its accuracy.

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.20.28 AMFor those of a more traditional pursuasion, 465 hectares is 1.8 square miles or 1150 acres or 4.65 square kilometres.

So provided the fire is “contained” on that peninsula, then that is the absolute maximum it could attain.  If it jumps or defeats the fire lines, then all bets are off as to how far it could go.  I do truly hope it would not be allowed to consume the entire ‘mountain’ of course but it has already burned through roughly 1/3rd of it.

Major action being taken today weather-permitting

Assuming the smoke does not ground all aircraft and helicopters like it did yesterday, we should see both more helicopter activity as well as hopefully new CL-215 “skimmers” from Ontario arrive to help suppress the flames.

The Wildfire branch is also planning a controlled burn today that will hopefully create a fire break that will prevent the fire from travelling beyond the break.  It is unclear where that break is going to be made and I imagine it will depend on the timing and the action of the fire itself.

Mars firing up engines today.

Weather/Smoke permitting, the Hawaii Mars should fire up her engines for the first time today and run through training and shakedown flights.

I have heard the first flights should take place this afternoon.  If all goes well, she will be Good to Go for actually fighting fires by Thursday.  There is a rumour that may drop her test water runs on the Dog Mountain fire.  Seems to make sense, but that would all be up to the BC Wildfire folks to approve.

Air Quality remains variable

While there is some cloud and smoke in the air over town, the Air Quality indicators are OK this morning with the 1hr at only 17g/m3.

One Final Comment – Investing in Fire Protection

One last comment.  Lets all remember that it is only the 8th of July.  In a “normal” year, the mountains would still have snow, we would just be feeling our first really hot stretch of the year, and the lakes and rivers would be full of water and salmon.

4 Weeks ago I was at a “West Island Woodlands Advisory Group” (WIWAG) meeting.  During that meeting a Western Forest Products representative was talking about the conditions in their forest tenures which stretch from Carmanah to Clayoquot.  He made it very clear that they were seeing weather and forest conditions like nothing they had ever seen before in terms of dryness in the bush.  He gave us a very stark warning that any fire could lead to “catastrophic” consequences on par with the Taylor River fire in 1967.

There were indications of this being a very abnormal year many weeks, even months ago.  The question must be asked.  Why were we not better prepared?

Why were our fire fighters, who are doing incredible work,  not increased in number in preparation for this.   Why were resources not increased?  It is always hard to plan based on weather forecasts that can easily change, but this year the writing was on the wall.

Will this be the new normal with climate change?  And if it is, will the province start to increase funding to our Forest Fire services?

A city that no longer gets any snow because weather patterns are changing would get rid of snowplows.  It’s an easy decision that is sometimes too quickly made (remember Victoria?).  But if it starts to snow a lot more, will that City rush to buy new equipment?  Probably not… no one likes to see costs increasing.

However, when dealing with public health and safety, time and time again both the wise and popular choice in the long run is always to make the investment because it avoids risk and many hidden costs down the road.

 

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