Ended… Heavy rain and burnt out forest may not mix well…


Sunday, May 21, 2023 | 7:00 pm

PJXM is sending out a warning to rural areas to be careful around hill slopes, water ways, ditches and culverts due to possible forest debris from the upcoming heavy rain.

The announcement of rain for the BC Peace region is welcome news but it could come with some consequences to burnt forest and rural properties with burnt out ground slopes.

With heavy bands of rain and burnt out forest where is the water going to go? Trapped under all the burnt trees and brush that’s where and that’s not entirely good news. The crusted ground from the fire will not be able to soak up all the rain in due time because there is nothing left to take in the water. An example of this is the floods and heavy rain that washed out many areas of southern BC in November 2021. The area was devasted by forest fires months before the rain fell. While the rain forecasted for BC North is not an atmospheric river, it is a heavy band of rain over a long period time.

The current wildfires have created a crust on top of the now dead soil from the chemicals found in rotten vegetation. The rain water will not find its way down into the ground and could unfortunately form debris and send that debris to nearby ditches and culverts flooding out many roads and properties. It could also send sediment into local drinking wells, lakes, creeks and the nearby Peace River.

Environment Canada is forecasting 50 to 75 mm of rain, and approximately 100 mm for the Tumbler Ridge area.

PJXM will keep our members updated on the heavy rain over the next few days with updates to already created stories.

Be safe and check on your properties during the rain event.

Stoddart Creek wildfire on May 20, 2023, north of Fort St. John along the Alaska Highway. – BC Wildfire Service.

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