Higher risk of floods and landslides: the long tail of 2015's fiery summer

Apr 01, 2016
Affected Communities: 
All Areas

The 2015 wildfire season was extreme throughout the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District.

On average, approximately 2,400 hectares across the entire Coast Area, from Haida Gwaii to Manning Park, will burn per year due to wildfires. 

In 2015, 25,000 hectares burned on the Coast - 20,000 hectares of which was a result of the Elaho and Boulder Creek wildfires.  (Please note: this information has been corrected from the original post.)

A new information brochure prepared by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, outlines some of the long-lasting effects of those wildfires.

Property owners, and backcountry users, might find the following information helpful:

  • Fire-altered soil loses its absorption capacity. Water is repelled, and flows over the land, instead of soaking into it. Intense rainfall - from fall rainstorms, or rapid spring snowmelt, can trigger post-wildfire floods and debris flows. 
  • This risk can last for two years or more, until the regrowth of vegetation and repellency of water improves.
  • Pay attention to heavy rainfall warnings. (Residents can susbcribe to the SLRD Alert to be texted warnings that may impact their neighbourhood.)
  • Avoid driving in areas where wildfire recently occurred - roads below steep banks are susceptible to landslides.

Click below to download a copy of the brochure, or drop by the SLRD office to pick up a paper copy.

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