Landslides ‘happening all the time’ in B.C., says SFU geology professor

In British Columba, slides are part of the provincial landscape.

And no, we’re not talking waterslides, like the ones at Cultus Lake near Chilliwack, but rather road-burying, chaos-causing slides.

Earlier this month, debris from a slide smothered a section of Highway 93 just south of Fairmont Hot Springs, stopping traffic for several hours until it was cleared.

Other recent examples include the rock slide in the Fraser River that was discovered in June near Big Bar, and the rock slide last February that buried Highway 97 near Summerland, effectively cutting the Okanagan in half for weeks.

A geology professor from Simon Fraser University, Brent Ward, talked with Global News about those slides, and other topics.

Global News: Are slides increasing in frequency? Or is the number consistent but the media is reporting on them more often?

Brent Ward: “Landslides are happening all the time. I think we notice them when they actually affect infrastructure, such as a major highway.

“But landslides are (also) affecting remote areas — say, logging roads, other resource roads — all the time. We don’t have any data to prove that landslides are increasing yet, but it could be happening.”

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