Presentation Title

Fires in the Rough: A Close Examination of Fire Hazards in the Rural-Urban Fringe in Kelowna, BC

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented the Friday of the conference

Abstract

Fire hazards in the rural-urban fringe have been a cause of concern for several decades. During hot, dry summer months, risks of fire increase dramatically. This is due in part to the low level of maintenance in these areas when compared to its urban counterparts. Issues of weather, lack of adherence to environmental management policy, and the emergency response of the region also play a role. These issues have been thoroughly investigated using peer reviewed articles, newspaper articles, regional data from stats Canada. These include examination of wildfire events in the Kelowna area, exploring potential improvements from the perspectives of management, policy, and individual responsibility. We found that the probability of fires occurring is greater in the rural-urban fringe, the response time by regional district is slower to act, and there is greater susceptibility of the landscape to hazardous weather conditions. In conclusion, the social and physical characteristics of the rural-urban fringe in Kelowna promote an environment that is particularly vulnerable to wildfires, and the city is continuing to improve land-use patterns in the area to ensure a decrease in risk for fire hazards.

Department

Geography and Environmental Studies

Faculty Advisor

Tom Waldichuk

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Fires in the Rough: A Close Examination of Fire Hazards in the Rural-Urban Fringe in Kelowna, BC

Fire hazards in the rural-urban fringe have been a cause of concern for several decades. During hot, dry summer months, risks of fire increase dramatically. This is due in part to the low level of maintenance in these areas when compared to its urban counterparts. Issues of weather, lack of adherence to environmental management policy, and the emergency response of the region also play a role. These issues have been thoroughly investigated using peer reviewed articles, newspaper articles, regional data from stats Canada. These include examination of wildfire events in the Kelowna area, exploring potential improvements from the perspectives of management, policy, and individual responsibility. We found that the probability of fires occurring is greater in the rural-urban fringe, the response time by regional district is slower to act, and there is greater susceptibility of the landscape to hazardous weather conditions. In conclusion, the social and physical characteristics of the rural-urban fringe in Kelowna promote an environment that is particularly vulnerable to wildfires, and the city is continuing to improve land-use patterns in the area to ensure a decrease in risk for fire hazards.