The City of Kamloops has been recognized by Partners in Protection for its proactive approach to wildland/urban interface fire prevention. The City of Kamloops is considered a template for success in the wildland/urban interface, recognizing the interface fire problem and the steps that have been taken to minimize the risk to wildfire.
The wildland/urban interface is the geographical point where the diverse values of the wilderness and urban development meet. In the interface, structures and vegetation are sufficiently close that a wildfire may spread to structures or a structural fire may ignite trees and vegetation.
Historically, forest fires naturally occurred every 3 to 30 years in Kamloops; due to their frequency they burned much cooler and would be smaller than a fire in today's conditions. However, extremely effective fire suppression over past century has allowed for forest ingrowth and dead vegetative material to accumulate increasing the fuel load in our natural forests. This accumulation of fuels poses a greater threat with each passing year as fuels continue to accumulate (a ponderosa pine typically loses 30-50% of its needles each year).
To add to the concern an increasing number of communities are being established in rural areas, placing homes directly adjacent to these flammable fuels and increasing the number and magnitude of wildland/urban interface incidents in British Columbia and within the City of Kamloops.
Wildland fire suppression and structural fire suppression separately can be extremely dangerous and costly. Wildland/urban interface fire suppression increases the expense and danger to all suppression resources and the public exponentially. Wildland/urban interface fires quickly overload all suppression, community and government resources.
Low Fires may start easily and spread quickly but there will be minimal involvement of deeper fuel layers or larger fuels.
Moderate Forest fuels are drying and there is an increased risk of surface fires starting. Carry out any forest activities with caution.
High Forest fuels are very dry and the fire risk is serious. New fires may start easily, burn vigorously, and challenge fire suppression efforts. Extreme caution must be used in any forest activities. Open burning and industrial activities may be restricted.
Extreme Extremely dry forest fuels and the fire risk is very serious. New fires will start easily, spread rapidly, and challenge fire suppression efforts. General forest activities may be restricted, including open burning, industrial activities and campfires.