2003:An Unprecedented Fire Season - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Audrey
2003 an unprecedented fire season n.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
2003:An Unprecedented Fire Season PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
2003:An Unprecedented Fire Season

play fullscreen
1 / 51
Download Presentation
2003:An Unprecedented Fire Season
742 Views
Download Presentation

2003:An Unprecedented Fire Season

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

  1. 2003 2003:An Unprecedented Fire Season British Columbia An Unprecedented Fire Season In Review

  2. Presentation Format • 2003 pre-season conditions • events as they unfolded • drought, fires, evacuations • what’s happening now • rehabilitation, de-briefs/reviews • looking ahead to future seasons • preparation, policy changes, what can we do better next time

  3. BC’s Protection Program • independent branch within BCFS since 1995 • no “boundaries” between Fire Centers – resources moved where needed • largest annual fire workload in Canada • mid-sized program in terms of staff, seasonal Type 1 crews • preparedness budget $49 million • direct fire (statutory acct.) target $55 million • increasing client funding contributions: • Feds (FN), Forest Industry, Private landowners, Utilities, etc. • 2002 - $3.5M, 2003 - $16M, 2004 - $28-35M

  4. BC’s Protection Program Three levels: provincial, fire centre, zone PrinceGeorge North-West Cariboo Kamloops Coastal Southeast

  5. Protection Business PlanOperating Principles • maintain unsurpassed safety standards • encourage innovation at all levels in the organization • train, empower and support staff • deliver services in a professional and business-like manner • aggressively pursue workforce diversity and an inclusive working environment

  6. Protection Business PlanProgram Objectives • prevent human-caused fires • be prepared to aggressively attack all unwanted fires • keep area burned by wildfires as small as possible • provide timely fire management services to land managers • pursue revenue opportunities

  7. Fires in British Columbia

  8. Effectiveness - Area Burned1992-2001 average

  9. Preparedness Budget 1992-2001 average

  10. Snow Pack April 1, 2003

  11. Startup Drought

  12. Canadian Instituteof Climate Studies Old Farmers Almanac forecast for southern BC Dry Precipitation Forecast

  13. Global Fire Situation "This year's fire season has been one of the worst in recent history, in terms of loss of human life and damage to forests and infrastructure, which includes housing, roads, bridges and telecommunication," - Mike Jurvelius, forest fire specialist with FAO. • Europe's worst-hit country, Portugal, loses over 400,000 hectares • In France, almost 45,000 hectares are destroyed. • Australia loses 60 million hectares last year • The Russian Federation lost over 23 million hectares- double the area lost the previous year. • In 2002 US loses 6.9 million acres ($1.6B), and in 2003 fires in California result in loss of more than 20 lives and 3000+ homes

  14. Fire Season Preparations • full complement of suppression resources • initial attack & sustained action crews, air tankers, helicopters, contract resources avail. • additional pine beetle area fire crews hired/trained • early startup in some Fire Centers (KFC, SEFC) • ongoing availability of other government staff • use of alternate budget sources to ensure full preparedness – this was done in face of overall government budget reductions • season outlook and “potential” communicated early to communities and other agencies

  15. Operational Challenges • High turnover in 2003 from downsizing • 38 new regular (placed) staff (18%) • 180 new firefighters (20%) • loss of corporate knowledge/experience(managers, technicians, firefighters) • Budget pressures • $1.5 million in wage settlements (2 years) • $0.2 million in air tanker inflation adjustments • $0.4 million in increased training costs Solution for 2003: early termination dates, reduction of HQ staff, and other efficiencies to meet budget shortfall

  16. Drought CodeJune 22, 2003

  17. Exported Resources (June)

  18. Season Conditions Early July – it’s apparent that the 2003 fire season has increasing potential as drought conditions continue… 2003 1985 1994 Canadian extreme 1998

  19. 2003 Drought

  20. Other Provincial Maximums:Alberta - 945 Saskatchewan - 700 Ontario - 600 New Brunswick - 500 Drought Analysis

  21. Buildup Index Analysis

  22. Drought MapSeptember 4, 2003

  23. Fire Distribution 2,216 fires < 4 hectares 110 fires > 100 hectares 36 fires > 1,000 hectares 8 fires > 10,000 hectares Total 2,517 fires

  24. Major Fires July 16- Aug. 27 • Hell’s Gate – 136 ha • Tatla Lk – 1,867 ha • SW Bonapartre Lk – 1,500 ha • Chilko Lk – 29,202 ha • McLure – 26,420 ha • Vaseaux – 3,300 ha • Vermillion – 3,981 ha • Sicamous – 130 ha • McGillivray – 11,400 ha • Venables Valley – 7,635 ha Kuskanook – 4,832 ha Lamb Creek – 10,979 ha Plumbob Mt. – 2,870 ha Harrogate – 1,018 ha Ingersol – 6,700 ha Burton – 530 ha Kutetl – 7,808 ha Cedar Hills – 1,620 ha Anarchist Mt. – 1,230 ha Strawberry Hill – 5,731 ha Okanagan Mtn. Park – 25,600 ha

  25. Other Threatening Fires • Fawn Peak Fire - Washington State • Wedge Canyon Fire - Montana • Toga Mt. Fire - Washington State. • Lost Creek – Alberta • Arson – a major problem this year Estimated 131 arson fires this year (6 arrests so far)

  26. 2003 In Context

  27. 2003 In Context

  28. Daily Maximums • number of new fires 218 (763 fires over 6 days) • 880 fires burning • 7,668 firefighters deployed • 1,211 pieces of heavy equipment deployed • 220 helicopters deployed • $9 million per day in costs • international, national and local media attention – fire the lead item on local TV/Radio for almost 5 straight weeks • At HQ +/- 150 media enquiries daily

  29. MARS Crews and Staff

  30. Operation Peregrine Aug 2 - Sep 22 • largest military operation of 2003 • 920 fire fighters • 1600 total military personnel • 4 helicopters • $19 million

  31. Out of Province Contractors

  32. Crew/Staff Requests (MARS) FF= Firefighters Spec.= Specialists FMT= Fire Mgmt Team VPU=Values Protection Unit

  33. Total Crews Deployed

  34. Equipment • Borrowed: - 809 Mark III pumps - 27,360 lengths of hose • Purchased: - 101 Mark III pumps - 38,119 lengths of hose

  35. Borrowed: 2 Martin Mars (TimberWest) 2 CL415s (Ontario) 6 CL415s (Quebec) 1 DC 6 (Yukon) 3 Firecats (Yukon) 3 AT802 (New Brunswick) 1 Fireboss (Conair) 3 Convairs (Conair) 2 DC 6 (Conair) 23 Additional Airtankers Current contracts: 2 802s 3 Electras 2 Convair 580s 6 Firecats 13 Airtankers Air Tankers Used In 2003

  36. Restrictions & Declarations • Open Burning Restrictions June 6 - September • Camp fire bans imposed July 23-31 • Provincial State of Emergency DeclaredAugust 1 - September 14 • Forest Road Closures August 1-19 • Voluntary Travel Restriction issued August 20 • Forest Use Travel Restriction imposed August 29 – September 12

  37. Safety • 3 million+ fireline hours worked: huge exposure and potential for serious injury • 11 serious accidents (MVAs, heavy equipment) • 3 aviation fatalities

  38. Estimated Costs • $365+ million for firefighting • $50-60 million for rehabilitation • $60+ million for reforestation • $100 million for OFC and PEP • Total cost: +/- $575 million

  39. Looking Forward… Provincial Review • government priorities • legislation/new WFA 2004 • policy changes, PEP Program Reviews • interagency • Protection task teams Fire Reviews - done by fire - areas to improve on

  40. Looking Forward…

  41. Looking Forward… Sept. - Oct. - Nov. 2003 Dry Warm

  42. Looking Forward… Dec. - Jan. - Feb. 2004 Warm Dry

  43. Looking Forward… March -April - May 2004 Dry Warm

  44. Looking Forward… June -July - Aug. 2004 Dry Warm

  45. Mountain Pine Beetle Area

  46. Preparing for 2004 • equipment refurbishment • ff recruiting/hiring starts in January 2004 • impacts of workforce adjustment/ERIP/VDP • expanded District Partnership Program – more staff to train, draw on if required • establishment of firefighter reserve force • community discussions – Fire Smart, structural protection units, more x-training with structural fire departments, industry • Filmon review recommendations

  47. Important questions we are asking ourselves • Was the 2003 drought an anomaly? • Is there a possibility of another 2003? • Could a future fire seasons be worse than 2003? • What are the prudent actions for the future? • closer work with insurance industry? • better opportunities for fire prevention? • increased fuel management programs? • increased or more specialized resources? • Who has responsibilities? • individuals, communities, regional districts, province, Canada

  48. Key Policy Decisions • Wildfire act - firefighting priorities, fire application, cost-sharing, regulations • Ecosystem restoration - implications to timber supply • Fuel management - responsibilities, resources, FRPA/WFA • Prescribed burning - resources, planning, smoke management, risks, public acceptance • Firefighting strategies - “new worst case”, resources, role of contractors, ... • Community protection - responsibilities, agreement, training, structure protection

  49. What it was like to sit in the media hot seat…

  50. Thank You