GFMC: Forest Fires in Canada, 17 August 2000

Forest Fires in Canada

17 August 2000

The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) distributes timely information about forest fires in Canada. The current fire situation for 16 August 2000 can be summarized as follows:

over the last 24 hours: 63 fires for 359 ha season summary: 4,685 fires for 527,399 hectares


According to the National Forest Fire Situation Report of 9 August 2000 (updated every Friday), that the fire activity continues to remain below average. The weekly total for hectares burned last week was consistent with 10-year averages for this time of the season although the total for the season is well below average. The area of smoke has decreased since last week. Conditions remain dry in much of the western provinces and the territories. Risk is increasing in southern parts of Manitoba and Alberta and in southeastern part of British Columbia; some risk continues in the northern parts of Saskatchewan, Ontario and the Northwest Territories.

Number and area of forest fires in Canada, as of 9 August 2000

current uncontrolled controlled active modified 7 209 198   2000
(to date)
in %
of normal
Number 4,218 6,557 64% 41 Area (ha) 520,373 1,952,230 27% 7,881


The Fire Monitoring, Mapping, and Modelling (FireM3) is a collaboration of the Canadian Forest Service and the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing. Through the Map Link at the FireM3 web site you can access daily hotspot images. An Internet Map Server, which is like a simple GIS running on the host computer, allows you to zoom in on any fire or other area of interest and view the image and map data at full (1 km) resolution. You can also click on any fire and get information about that fire.

click here to enlarge (23 KB) click here to enlarge (29 KB) click here to enlarge (23 KB)

The satellite image, the daily fire overview map and the season-to-date hotspot map for 16 August 2000
display the current significant fire events (in the moment no current updates available)
(Source: FireM3)


The Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index (FWI) System is a part of the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System and consists of six components that account for the effects of fuel moisture and wind on fire behavior. The first three components are fuel moisture codes and are numerical ratings of the moisture content of litter and other fine fuels, the average moisture contentof loosely compacted organic layers of moderate depth, and the average moisture content of deep, compact organic layers. The remaining three components are fire behavior indexes which represent the rate of fire spread, the fuel available for combustion, and the frontal fire intensity; their values rise as the fire danger increases. For futher information please see the Summary Information.

The latest available images are shown below (16 August 2000):

click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Fine Fuel Moisture Code click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Duff Moisture Code click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Drought Code click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Initial Spread Index click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Buildup Index click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Fire Weather Index click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Fire Danger Rating


The Canadian Forest Fire Behavior Prediction (FBP) System is an other part of the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System and provides quantitative estimates of head fire spread rate, fuel consumption, fire intensity, and fire description. With the aid of an elliptical fire growth model, it gives estimates of fire area, perimeter, perimeter growth rate, and flank and back fire behavior. For futher information please see the Summary Information.

The latest available images are shown below (16 August 2000):

click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Foliar Moisture Content click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Surface Fuel Consumption click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Rate of Spread click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Total Fuel Consumption click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Head Fire Intensity click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Fire Type


The Saskatchewan Daily Forest Fire Situation Report (16 August 2000) is listing all forest fires currently burning in Saskatchewan and their current status. This report also gives statistics on the total number of fires to date. The whole report and further information can be accessed at the fire management website of “Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management” (SERM).

fires burning in the province today: 15 extinguished in the past 24 hours: 0 new fires: 0 total number of fires to date this year: 379 total up to this date last year: 593 five year average for this date: 631


British Columbia Forest Service Wildfire Report (16 August 2000):
More lightning strikes the southeast
Firefighters in southeastern B.C. were dealing with about 50 new fires today after a storm with more than 800 lightning strikes hit the area late Tuesday afternoon. Three-person initial attack crews, air tankers and helicopters were deployed by the Southeast Fire Centre in Castlegar to keep the fires from spreading. More fires are expected today as a result of this latest lightning. Temperatures are expected to remain in the high 20s and low 30s through this week, with only a slight chance of showers forecast for the weekend. “Our crews are doing an outstanding job, but firefighting is exhausting work. Fatigue really starts to accumulate when you’re working 12 to 14 hours a day for up to two weeks straight,” said Kerry Brewer provincial fire control officer. “It looks like we may be busy for another three or four weeks, so we’re starting to rotate staff for rest days.” Some of the firefighters brought in from other provinces are expected to be used to spell off Forest Service crews. B.C. firefighters receive some of the most comprehensive training in Canada. After being hired, new recruits must attend and pass a rigorous training camp where they receive classroom and field instruction in fire behaviour, use of pumps, hoses and specialized equipment, helicopter and chainsaw safety, and fire line communications. This training and their cumulative years of experience is what they draw on when situations like the one in Cranbrook and Invermere occur. “This is what our crews love to do,” said Brewer. “Our firefighters take an enormous amount of pride in putting fires out. It’s one of those jobs where the results are tangible and you can really see what you’ve accomplished at the end of the day.” In Cranbrook, where a local area command is established, firefighters receive a morning briefing and then are sent to fires, much the same as pilots before flying a mission. The Cranbrook area command is the “nerve centre” for fires in this area. Information from staff in the field is relayed to the area command, where resources are staged and then sent in order of priority. The structure of the area command organization is similar to a military operation, with specialists responsible for performing key functions: incident commander, operations chief, logistics chief, planning chief, and finance and administration chief.
COOL CREEK FIRE – The fire northwest of Cathedral Park (west of Keremeos) is now estimated at 180 hectares. The fire is not contained, and high winds yesterday resulted in its spread. Early estimates on its size were difficult because of smoke. About 80 firefighters, air support and heavy equipment are working on the fire. No homes are threatened at this time.
THYNNE MOUNTAIN FIRE – This fire north of Princeton remains 100 per cent contained and is not threatening any structures. This fire damaged 380 hectares, and 100 firefighters continue suppression efforts.
GOAT RIVER – This fire in the Creston area is now about five hectares. Forty-five firefighters, helicopters and air tankers worked along with 20 to 25 volunteer firefighters from three fire departments to contain this fire. There was some threat to structures, but there were no injuries or damage. The fire has been contained and 10 crew members will patrol the area today.
PEMBERTON FIRE – Two fires northwest of Pemberton, with a combined size of 30 hectares, are burning at high elevation across the valley from each other. These fires are burning in steep terrain, and access has been difficult. Forty-one firefighters are continuing work on these fires.
PREMIER RIDGE FIRE – The 50-hectare fire is 16 kilometres southeast of Wasa. There are 45 firefighters, five bulldozers, two water tank trucks and three helicopters on site.
FRY CREEK CANYON FIRE – Crews are continuing suppression efforts today. The fire is about 150 hectares, and 32 firefighters are on site. It is not contained yet, but crews are making good progress.
INGRAM CREEK FIRE – About 50 firefighters are on site today, and the fire, which is currently contained, reached about 70 hectares. It is 18 kilometres from Greenwood.
LINKLATER FIRE – About 200 hectares, most of this fire is burning on the U.S. side of the border, but it is burning 20 hectares into the Canadian side. A 20-person unit crew and machinery are being used on this fire. It is now fully guarded on the B.C. side, and crews are helping on the U.S. side.
REDDING CREEK – The fire is about 70 hectares and is being worked on by heavy machinery. There are other spot fires in the area.
IRISHMAN CREEK FIRE – The fire is about 120 hectares, between Cranbrook and the Kootenay Lakes. It is burning much more slowly than officials anticipated because of some earlier precipitation. Control efforts continue today. Two access trails are now complete. One unit crew and heavy equipment are working on this fire. The southeast area of the province experienced a thunderstorm Tuesday afternoon with over 800 lightning strikes. About 50 new spot fires in the area have been reported today.

Wildfire Statistics Report, 16 August 2000

Number of Fires Burning: 370 Number of New Fires (Lightning): 44 Number of New Fires (Human Caused): 6 Total Lightning Fires: 877 Total Human Caused Fires: 486 Total Fires to Date: 1,363 Total Area Burned (ha): 14,291

click here to enlarge (17 KB)

Fire Danger Rating for British Columbia, 16 August 2000.
(Source: British Columbia Forest Service)



Print Friendly, PDF & Email
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien