To finish! Rain returns across British Columbia

With rain and snow forecast for British Columbia, it’s finally time to say goodbye to the province’s long dry spell.

Environment Canada is calling for just under 10 millimeters of rain in the Fraser Valley and around seven millimeters over parts of eastern Vancouver Island by early Saturday, but parched areas of the Sunshine Coast will have to wait a little longer to get relief.

The rain is expected to continue through Saturday and into next week and Shíshálh Nation Chief Warren Paull predicts the Sechelt region could receive up to 35 millimeters from the predicted series of systems – but he has said much more was needed.

While many took advantage of the exceptionally warm temperatures in September and October, the lack of rainfall which is drying up streams, streams and lakes is a real cause for concern.

The district of Sechelt and the shíshálh nation recently declared a local state of emergency due to severe drought in the area.

In Metro Vancouver, lower than normal reservoir levels prompted officials to ask millions of residents and businesses to conserve water, as the last significant rain fell in Vancouver on September 4.

Environment Canada meteorologists said inland mountain passes will see a light dusting of snow.

Other parts of British Columbia, including Haida Gwaii, the Central Coast, and the Eastern Pacific Range, a strip of land stretching north from Whistler to the Alaska border, are classified as drought level. 4, and dry conditions everywhere mean BC’s wildfire season is dragging on. .

Wildfires are still burning across British Columbia

More than 200 active fires are still burning, including four suspected human-caused fires started on Wednesday and another on Thursday, as well as two lightning-related fires.

Wildfires in the Fraser Valley and EC Manning Provincial Park, as well as several large fires in Washington state, have been blamed for sending a thick, foggy blanket over much of the lower half of the province for several days, prompting Environment Canada to issue an air quality advisory. notice.

IQAir, the organization that publishes global air quality ratings, ranked Vancouver as having the fourth worst air quality on the planet on Thursday, just behind Seattle, Portland, Oregon and Beijing.

Metro Vancouver lifted its air quality advisory on Friday.

Environment Canada still has advisories in place from the Fraser Valley to the Kootenays, but called for significant improvement throughout the day as winds help clear foggy skies.

IQAir had already ranked Vancouver, Portland and Seattle among the cities with the best air quality on Friday.

Road safety

The long-awaited return of the rain also means slippery roads and foggy windshields.

Kate Harris, owner of a driving school on Vancouver Island, said nearly half of all accidents in British Columbia occur between October and January.

Nearly 80% of crashes involving pedestrians, Harris said, occur at intersections.

“It’s getting darker earlier; we’re tired because the time change is coming. We’re busy, racing to try and get everything in place. And now is when we see all these crashes happening. All of this can be prevented,” Harris said.

“We must yield our right of way to keep everyone safe.”

A local driving instructor asks drivers to slow down and be extra careful in the rain to avoid traffic incidents. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Pedestrians are recommended to wear reflective clothing and drivers and cyclists are advised to have bright headlights to avoid most of these accidents. Road users are advised to pay close attention to their surroundings due to reduced visibility.

Drivers are encouraged to plan ahead and take a little extra time to defrost the windows and make sure their vehicle is safe before hitting the road.

The ICCB website includes interactive tools that display accident maps by regions and intersections with most accidents involving pedestrians.

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