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Following the rules lessens wildfire risk: Coastal Fire Centre officer

The Coastal Fire Centre is urging you to take extra care as the weather heats up.

There have been no new fires in the region this week and as of Thursday afternoon, the fire danger rating sat at either low or very low across Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

Fire information officer Marg Drysdale said that while conditions are good, certain fire restrictions are in place.

“If you are going out this weekend and you are going to have a campfire, that is completely allowed within the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, however, no Category 2 which would be backyard or debris burning is allowed at this time,” Drysdale said.

“So we really want people to remember to keep campfires small. If they’re larger than the legal size of half a metre by a half a metre, then they are considered a category fire.”

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Drysdale also stressed that there are no fireworks or sky lanterns allowed at this time. 

She said the winds will be picking up by Saturday morning which, combined with the expected summer-like temperatures, heightens the fire risk.

“So if you are having a campfire at any time on Saturday, and the winds do pick up, remember, you are responsible for what you light, so be very cautious,” Drysdale said. “We don’t want any embers escaping and having a problem with those. If you light it, you are responsible for it and that includes monitoring the weather.”

It was a relatively tame wildfire season last year. While on-average it was two degrees warmer than usual, we just got enough rain to keep fires relatively in check.

Last year, from April 1st to Sept. 17, wildfires had burned 322 hectares in the region. 

Over the same period in 2018, fires ripped through 174,982 hectares.

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The 10-year average is 22,791 hectares.

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