Anglemont fire starts the season

A wildfire 300 metres east of Golf Course Road in Anglemont is believed to have been caused by a person

A wildfire 300 metres east of Golf Course Road in Anglemont is believed to have been caused by a person.

Reported late in the afternoon of Wednesday, June 10, the fire was attended by two rappel crews and two response officers, or supervisory personnel.

Melissa Klassen, fire information officer, says the fire grew to half a hectare in size, was burning in standing timber and showing rank two and three behaviour.

“With rank two, you see open flame on the ground surface and becoming organized,” says Klassen. “Three starts climbing trees and candling.”

On the scene until late Wednesday evening, three crews were back early Thursday morning, working in from established guards on the perimeter to cool things down.

There have been no other fires of note in the Salmon Arm Zone but, as of June 11, the wildfire danger rating was moderate to high, with a large pocket of high in Salmon Arm, Enderby and in the North Shuswap as well.

The area around Sicamous was rated moderate.

Despite a cooling off that arrived Friday, Klassen noted temperatures were still “pretty warm.”

Pretty warm is an understatement for earlier in the week when Salmon Arm broke a 107-year-old record.

On Monday, June 8, the temperature peaked at 33.7, breaking the 1908 record of 32.8.

“That’s quite impressive,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Matt MacDonald. “The challenge is you have records going back to 1893.”

Despite the long history, Salmon Arm did come close to breaking another record on June 7 when the mercury soared to 31.4, nearing the 33.9C set in 1948.

MacDonald says area residents may well have recorded much higher temperatures. All Environment Canada thermometers are located in white, vented boxes known as Stevenson Screens.

“If you stick a thermometer out in the sun it would be way higher, easily,” he said.

As the heat wave was breaking up last Thursday, MacDonald said the area was getting into a more June-like pattern, with an upper low pressure system that would deliver patchy rain for a while.

But the forecast for the Shuswap remains hotter than normal, thanks to a “large blob” of warm water off the B.C. Coast, with no indication it will be departing in the near future.

In local water news, BC River Forecast Centre Manager David Campbell said Thursday that Shuswap Lake was peaking.

“We’ve seen a good chunk, if not all the snowpack melted, with some maybe lingering at the highest elevations,” he says. “Eagle River is pretty much at normal for right now and Shuswap River has peaked and is going to continue to drop.”

Campbell says one of the big differences in this year’s freshet is that.

“We’ve seen flows come down faster; even peaking right now, it’s two or three weeks before normal,” he said last Thursday, noting snowpacks feeding Shuswap Lake were not too far off normal. “The South Thompson is 35 per cent of normal.”


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