B.C. Wildfire interactive map as of July 20th, shows the difference in fire activity between the Coastal Fire Centre region and the B.C. Interior. (Supplied by BC Wildfire)
While wildfires rage across much of B.C., all’s quiet in the Coastal Fire Centre.
The centre, which includes Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, has just seven active wildfires, to date.
Compare that to the Kamloops Fire Centre, which accounts for 116 of the 294 active fires across the province.
On Vancouver Island, there’s just one fire. The Muir Creek fire on the west coast north of Sooke is 0.30 of a hectare and considered under control.
Information officer, Marg Drysdale, says a tame wildfire season on the coast, so far, has allowed the centre to send 118 firefighting personnel where they’re needed most.
We continue to get help from Mother Nature. Of the 129 fires reported in the region since April 1st, 114 have been person-caused, and 15 have been sparked by lightning.
While that’s good news, Drysdale warns that we still have a long summer ahead of us.
“The lightning bands that we get through the Coastal Fire Centre generally happen later in the summer, so probably from the end of July through August,” she said.
“So we are warning everybody to please be careful with whatever they are doing, because if we do have a band of lightning that goes through, we don’t want to be dealing with person-caused fires when we have natural fires to contend with.”
Current wildfire statistics, provided by BC Wildfire.
Drysdale says, to date, there have not been very many person-caused fires that have gotten out of control.
She added that they’re anticipating larger fires as we get into the middle of the summer.
And with fire danger rating sitting at high or extreme across most of the island and Sunshine Coast, Drysdale is asking people to be very cautious, especially in forested areas.
“There’s no open fire allowed anywhere in the province at this point, so we’re asking people, do not light any campfires, there are no bonfires allowed, (and) if you are going out and you want to have a campfire, please take out a propane campfire,” Drysdale said. “They don’t spark and they can be turned off very quickly.”
Also prohibited are fireworks, sky lanterns, burn barrels, burn cages, binary exploding targets, and air curtain burners.
For a full list of prohibitions and restrictions, click here.
“So again, we rely on the people of B.C. to help us out at this time,” Drysdale said. “We are sending resources to the interior of the province at this point. If need be, we can pull some of those resources back but we would like to help out people in other areas.”