Wildfire in Vancouver.

Discussion in 'Conversations' started by togata57, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. togata57

    togata57 Rising Contributor

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    Have just read that a forest fire broke out near Vancouver on Saturday, July 18. According to my information, the fire began west of Kelowna, which is northeast of Vancouver. So far 300 hectares have burned, along with nine houses.

    Hope all is well with Forum members, friends, and family members!
     
  2. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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  3. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    The fire is on the west bank of the lake, opposite Kelowna - inaccurately described as "West Kelowna" by some media - and it is a four hours drive from Vancouver.
     
  4. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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    Wishing every one a safe out come. Spent last summer in the middle of wildfire areas here. The closest was about 2 km as the crow flies over the ridge. Many people died and homes lost as the state burned. They are forecasting another bad summer. We have just had out warmest winter day on record down here.

    Liz
     
  5. Margaret

    Margaret Active Member 10 Years

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    There are now between 700 and 800 wild fires in B.C. Some are in unpopulated areas but some have caused towns to be evaculated. Liz, I understand that Australia is sending firefighters as are new Zealand and other Canadian provinces. The debate is being raised of how to prevent such devistating fires in the future. The forests have been badly hurt by the pine beetle and there is also a lot of build up on the forest floor from logging and natural die back and these have provided lots of fuel for the fires. Throw in some lightening strikes and the odd careless human plus little rain and hot temperatures and things get pretty scarey. I live in a coastal area which is identified as temperate rain forest but we certainly have not been living up to that lable!
     
  6. togata57

    togata57 Rising Contributor

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    As the kids put it: OMG! I had heard that the fires were continuing to burn, but had not realized things were this bad. I am sending you my wish for rain, Margaret, and my hope that you and yours, and EVERYONE, will be safe.
     
  7. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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    Margaret it sounds just like here. They have not been burning undergrowth etc as a slow burn. Our forests thrive on regular fires. Lightening is also a huge problem out in the wilds. Those they let burn for weeks some times because it's inaccesable.

    We had some major evacuations this last summer as well as towns burned out and many deaths. The whole structure of how it is to be done from now on has come down in a report. Looks like we will be back to slow burns, community shelters etc.

    On a sad note there was a Koala called Sam. She made world wide news when she came up to a fireman for a drink from his water bottle. She apparently had contracted Clymidia and had Ovarian cysts. Inoperable. Many Koalas are blighted by this disease. I just noticed she had her own facebook page too
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do9AoKyjjQg

    Liz
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2009
  8. togata57

    togata57 Rising Contributor

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    Oh, no, Liz. This is terrible news. As I read your post my heart sank lower and lower, and when I read about the koala I shed tears. The photo I saw of her on the internet, as she drank from the fireman's bottle as he gently held her paw--- I will never forget.

    I send you, as I did to Margaret, wishes that rain would come---gentle, steady, quenching rain---and that the power of nature can regenerate what has been lost. May you be safe!
     
  9. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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    We are ok at the moment but summer is just around the corner. By October it will start up again. Given the dry winter and the fuel load they are predicting a bad summer. I have made sure my paddock is well grazed this year and all round clearing of blackberries and other pockets of dangerous undergrowth is happening. Thanks for your thoughts and I hope all the fire areas are coping.

    Liz
     
  10. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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  11. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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  12. Margaret

    Margaret Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks for the wishes. Yes PLEASE SEND RAIN but no lightening!
    Where I live on the coast is a few hours drive to the the interior where most of the fires are and to Bella Coola on the north coast where a bad fire has meant that people living there have had to be evaculated by ocean ferry because they only have one road in and out. I live on the Sunshine Coast which is on the mainland but which can only be reached by ferry or air and then only has one continuous road from ferry to ferry. We have been told that the dew which we get every morning helps to keep things a little less dry. You could have fooled me though as even the blackberries are dying of thirst (always a bright side). It will be interesting to see how many bear come down looking for berries.
    My heart too goes out to the people directly caught up in the fires and also to the firefighters from around the world who are working so hard. The ones from Ontario say how different it is here from there as they have been told to be careful of rattlesnakes, blackwidow spiders and very high mountains. The pilots who are flying the firetanker are also heros in mine mind as flying in the mountains is a challenge without the heat and smoke. We had a small fire here three years ago and watched the Mars bombers sucking water from the ocean. It then dripped some and it flew just a few feet above our house.
    Fortunately there have been no deaths though as populations are evaculated and not as in Australia, where I think Liz, they are encouraged to stay and fight the fires.
    The animals are often the worse casualties in a fire and even the ones lucky enough to escape the fire must be truly terrified. Poor wee Koala. Has her story helped the others which are at risk from cancer and why is it thought that this is so widespread? Has the vegetation grown back sufficently to feed the survivors?
    Another good reason to encourage people to give up smoking!
    Best wishes from BC
    Margaret
     
  13. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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    The policy of stay and fight or leave in time is being looked at again. Part of the problem this time seems to have been demarkation disputes b/w areas and information not being forwarded. People were not aware it was heading towards them, The winds were very ferocious and the fires were creating their own climate. Will see how it goes meanwhile working on my patch to make sure it is as safe as can be for the animals.

    Liz
     
  14. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Difficult to escape too when the fires were advancing faster than a car can drive. Very nasty, very sad.
     
  15. 1950Greg

    1950Greg Active Member

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    Interesting that the fire retardant being used in the Lyton fire in the Fraser Canyon is basically fertilizer. I wonder what difference it is going to make when the forest begins to recover and plants start to grow.
     
  16. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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    In the Canadian forest fires how does the forest regenerate? The pines would be dead. Reason I ask is here the gums etc resprout most of the time and stuff comes straight out of the roots or seeds that need fire do their thing when rain comes. We only have pine plantations that are definatly not the same as the forests I saw in Europe. Is there a complete loss of large trees and it has to start from scratch? Our wild fires of 1983 definatly burn't the huge gums to nothing and there are very few of the originals still alive. My home mountain (hill) seemed to shrink by 60 + feet as it was burn't to the ground. It is now all new growth forest and open low alpine growth at the summit. (3,329 ft). One of the first things that did regenerate were the Dixonia Antarctica ferns along a barren grey creek bed.

    Liz
     
  17. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Lodgepole Pine is a fire-climax pine which holds stored seed in closed cones for several years; the cones start to open after a fire has scorched them, but only open fully after they have been wetted by rain and re-dry, so the seeds fall as soon as the fire is out and the ground moist.

    The other western Canadian conifers all have to seed in from surrounding unburnt patches; regeneration can be slow. Some, notably Ponderosa Pine and old Douglas-fir, have bark thick enough to survive less severe fires, so there are often small groups of survivors scattered around, rather than a total burn-out.
     
  18. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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    So some do have need of a fire. Having only seen burned pine plantations (total devistation) I often wondered how. Thankyou
    Liz
     
  19. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    If you re-visit those pine plantations (in Australia, they'll almost certainly be Pinus radiata, which is a fire-climax pine) a year or two after the fire, you'll find hundreds of pine seedlings carpeting the ground. Which is why Pinus radiata is now getting listed as an invasive species in Australia, New Zealand, etc.

    Here's some pics showing it:
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Starr_080301-3144_Pinus_radiata.jpg
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Starr_070908-9412_Pinus_radiata.jpg
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Starr_070908-9138_Pinus_radiata.jpg
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Starr_080301-3141_Pinus_radiata.jpg
     
  20. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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    Your right they are removing them everywhere. Even beautiful large mature trees. (50 , 60,70 yrs old) I wondered why, now I know. Mine is staying down the paddock. Still a youngish tree. Cockatoos love them. They spit cones with gay abandon.

    Liz
     

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