Vancouver Island is facing drought-like conditions, with watering and burning restrictions coming earlier than ever.
“This is the earliest we’ve ever gone to level three (watering restrictions), out of concern with the continuing drought-like conditions,” said Mike Squire, Englishman River Water Service program director.
They are dealing with “very low snowpack conditions, higher than usual demand due to the warm dry weather” so early in the season, and “problematic ongoing issues with the surface water intake at the Englishman River,” which is causing them to flush the system twice as much as usual.
And the news releases are coming almost daily from various levels of government.
“Vancouver Island is one of B.C.’s most sensitive areas to hot and dry weather,” according to a June 11 news release from the Regional District of Nanaimo, adding, “The continuing trend of high temperatures and increasing drought conditions significantly increases the risk of fire.”
A June 10 bulletin from the Coastal Fire Centre advised that the combination of dry and wind “could lead to potentially hazardous burning conditions.”
And with wildfires already making news in the interior, Environment Canada, Emergency Management B.C. and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations have all said Vancouver Island is at significant fire risk.