GFMC: Forest Fires in Canada, 18 August 2000

Forest Fires in Canada

18 August 2000

The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) distributes timely information about forest fires in Canada. The current fire situation for 17 August 2000 can be summarized as follows:

over the last 24 hours: 36 fires for 245 ha season summary: 4,721 fires for 527,644 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.

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The satellite image, the daily fire overview map and the season-to-date hotspot map for 17 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 (17 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 (17 August 2000):

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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 (17 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: 12 extinguished in the past 24 hours: 4 new fires: 0 total number of fires to date this year: 379 total up to this date last year: 594 five year average for this date: 633


British Columbia Forest Service Wildfire Report (17 August 2000):
Provincial wildfire update
Number of fires reported in the province to date in 2000: 1,397
Ten-year average of fires reported in the province by same time: 1,488
Number of fires currently burning in the province: 382
Number of fires burning in the province at same time last year: 149
Direct fire suppression costs to date: $21,414,000
Eight-year average for direct fire suppression costs by same time: $35,000,000
Number of hectares burned in the province to date: 14,451 ha
Ten-year average of number of hectares burned annually: 30,000 ha

Provincial Weather Forecast
Scattered showers and cooler temperatures are forecast for most of B.C. starting Friday; however, little rain is expected in the southeast and south Okanagan. There is a 30-40 per cent chance of lightning Friday afternoon in the Okanagan and southeast followed by a return to seasonal, warm and dry conditions for southern B.C. early next week.

Summary of Activity
Southeast Area
Remains area of biggest concern.
301 fires currently burning in the area, the majority of which are lightning-caused spot fires.
Six fires of significance.
Good overall progress being made despite winds and new lightning activity.
No fires posing immediate threats to houses/structures at this time.
Active fire behaviour expected to continue for most of this week.
Anticipate continued reliance on air tankers/helicopters to support ground crews.
Ongoing investigations into suspicious fires with Office of the Fire Commissioner and RCMP.
Open burning restrictions and campfire ban in place.
Cranbrook Area Command Centre fully operational
About 500 BC Forest Service firefighters and staff, 120 out-of-province firefighters and 220 contract firefighters.
Numerous pieces of heavy equipment, helicopters and air tankers.
Kamloops Area
Second area of concern in the province.
Seven new fires since Monday.
Two fires of significance.
Open burning restrictions in place for region and campfire ban in place for Penticton district.
Coastal Area
Small initial attack fires being fought successfully.
One fire of significance.
No threat to houses/structures.
Many Coastal resources currently deployed in southeast.
Open burning restrictions in place.
Northwest Area
No fires of concern.
Most resources currently deployed in southeast.
Prince George Area
No fires of concern.
Most resources currently deployed in southeast.
Cariboo Area
No fires of concern.
Most resources currently deployed in southeast.

Current Significant Wildfires
COOL CREEK FIRE – The fire northwest of Cathedral Park and west of Keremeos is now estimated at 180 hectares. The fire is not contained, but almost 50 per cent has been surrounded by a fireguard. High winds resulted in its spread. Early estimates on its size were difficult because of smoke. About 80 firefighters, helicopters 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 70 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 – This fire is burning in Fry Creek Provincial Park in the Kootenay Lake area. Crews are continuing suppression efforts today. The fire is about 140 hectares, and 32 firefighters are on site. It is not contained yet, but crews are making good progress.
INGRAM CREEK FIRE – About 65 firefighters are on site today, and the fire, which is currently contained, reached about 70 hectares. It is 18 kilometres from Greenwood.
LINKLATER FIRE – Most of this 200-hectare fire is burning in Montana, but it is burning about 20 hectares into the Canadian side of the border south of Newgate. 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 in the Cranbrook area and is about 70 hectares. It is being worked on by crews and heavy machinery. There are other spot fires clusters 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. Fire is 25 per cent guarded and control efforts continue today. Two access trails are now complete. One unit crew and heavy equipment are working on this fire.

Wildfire Statistics Report, 17 August 2000

Number of Fires Burning: 380 Number of New Fires (Lightning): 10 Number of New Fires (Human Caused): 6 Total Lightning Fires: 906 Total Human Caused Fires: 491 Total Fires to Date: 1,397 Total Area Burned (ha): 14,450

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Fire Danger Rating for British Columbia, 17 August 2000.
(Source: British Columbia Forest Service)



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