This plan presents historical and projected climate data. The Kaslo Adjusted and Homogenized Canadian Climate Data (AHCCD) record formed the basis of the data used in understanding historical climate; however, missing data has become more frequent and data acquisition at the station appears to have ended in September 2018. Missing temperature and precipitation data in the Kaslo record were estimated from the Duncan Lake Dam (ECCC) and Queens Bay (BCH) records using the ‘buddy system’ for temperature and the Normal Ratio Method for precipitation. The century-scale climate history for the Southeast Fire Centre region was reconstructed with data from eight Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) AHCCD climate stations (Kaslo, Creston, Fauquier, Warfield, Grand Forks, Cranbrook, Golden and Revelstoke) and two standard ECCC stations with long and consistently recorded data (Fernie and Castlegar). The Kaslo AHCCD temperature and precipitation records were compared with the climate records in the Southeast Fire Centre region to ensure regional consistency. Consequently, the climate history for the immediate Kaslo area was based on the Kaslo AHCCD record. This plan compiles climate model projections for the Kaslo region that are associated with two RCPs: a ‘High Carbon’ pathway (RCP8.5) and a ‘Low Carbon’ pathway (RCP4.5). Climate model projections are based on output from an ensemble of 12 statistically downscaled Global Climate Model (GCM) projections from the Pacific Climate Institute Consortium. Trends in the regional records and the Kaslo temperature and precipitation time series were computed for the last ca. 100 years and for the last ca. 50 years. The significance of the trends was determined using the Mann-Kendall test. The magnitude of the trends was determined with the Theil-Sens approach. Climate impacts include increasing temperature, wetter, warmer winters, drier, warmer summers, more extreme precipitation events, and more extreme weather and lightning events. In addition to the direct human security risk associated with wildfire, wildfire also impacts soils, runoff, terrain stability, and water quality.
In response to some of the region’s largest and most fierce wildfires in recent British Columbia history, the Kaslo and District Community Forest Society (KDCFS) was granted $50,000 in 2018 from Forest Enhancement Society (FES) to develop a Landscape Level Wildfire Plan (LLWP) within its K3C tenure. The community forest is located in the West Kootenay region in south-eastern British Columbia at the northern tip of Kootenay Lake. It is recognized that the recent wildfire events represent a threshold in a changing climate and that in conjunction with the use of future climate models, new landscape management techniques are necessary in responding to the increasing local threat of wildfire. Increasing periods of summer drought interacting with raising temperatures and increasing severity of extreme weather, the incidence and severity of wildfires is expected to increase over the next several decades. Resilience planning in future Community Forest management will likely need to explore the probability of exceeding expected critical climatic thresholds that may impact forest ecology. The LLWP is a planning tool guided by BC’s Provincial Strategic Threat Analysis and aims at improving the safety for fire suppression crews, reducing the severity of fires while mitigating negative ecological impacts, and managing to engage natural forest disturbance regimes as appropriate under dynamic environmental and climatic site conditions. The KDCFS has prioritized wildfire planning throughout 2018 and 2019 and has engaged with the community and stakeholders alongside plan development by use of personal and public consultations, field tours, and social media as well as educational wildfire/climate presentations. The Kaslo/Shutty Wildfire Corridor Project was developed concurrently for immediate implementation throughout 2019-2021.