The autumn smell of burn-off fires could be smelt throughout the Whistler Region over the Thanksgiving long weekend as hazy conditions draped upon the local resort. Unfortunately, the fires aren’t the usual burn-off of leaves. The unusually high seasonal temperatures have extended the feeling of summer into the start of autumn causing an unusually dry and extended fire season in the local Whistler forests and park lands.
The unusual dry weather pattern has allowed for three fires to continue far longer than expected, including one that made it to the ground surface after smoldering underground since early August. The latest one to break ground is in the Upper Elaho region that apparently started from a lightning strike. With this being Crown land, the province sent a fire response team immediately to the area.
Fire Still Smoldering…
The Culliton Creek Fire, located east of Squamish in the Garibaldi Provincial Park, continues to smolder at the ground and root level after starting in mid-August. In this case, and the Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park fire, BC Parks manages any correspondence for fire assistance. BC Parks continues to let these two fires burn as a natural burn-off of the park landscape meeting its ecological needs.
These fires are a reminder of the dangers that our unseasonal temperatures can create. If you see any flare up of these Whistler fires or others in the province, be sure to call the emergency forestry line at 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 from cellular phone.