Fire Danger Rating Now Extreme – High Risk Activities Prohibited

Wednesday, July 05, 2023 – The Fire Danger Rating is now EXTREME for the District of Sooke. Forest fuels are dry, and the fire risk is very serious. New fires will start easily, spread rapidly, and challenge fire suppression efforts.

High-risk activities in adherence with the Wildfire Act (Wildfire Regulation, Section 6), that are on or within 300 meters of forest land or grass land are prohibited. High-risk activities include (but are not limited to) the following:

  1. mechanical brushing;
  2. disk trenching;
  3. preparation or use of explosives;
  4. using fire- or spark-producing tools, including cutting tools;
  5. using or preparing fireworks or pyrotechnics;
  6. grinding, including rail grinding;
  7. mechanical land clearing;
  8. clearing and maintaining rights of way, including grass mowing (specifically, flail mowers – personal lawn mowing is still permissible).
  9. any of the following activities carried out in a cutblock excluding a road, landing, roadside work area or log sort area in the cutblock:
    1. operating a power saw;
    2. mechanical tree felling, woody debris piling or tree processing, including de-limbing;
    3. welding;
    4. portable wood chipping, milling, processing or manufacturing;
    5. skidding logs or log forwarding unless it is improbable that the skidding or forwarding will result in the equipment contacting rock;
    6. yarding logs using cable systems.

Campfire Prohibition:

A campfire prohibition remains in effect for the District of Sooke and will remain in place until the fall or until the order is rescinded. The fire ban is in place to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. In addition to open fires being prohibited, the following activities and equipment are also restricted:

  • Fireworks;
  • Sky Lanterns;
  • Burn Barrels or Burn Cages of any size or description;
  • Binary Exploding Targets;
  • Air curtain burners;
  • Tiki and similar kind of torches; and,
  • Chimineas.

This prohibition does not include the use of outdoor stoves. As per the Wildfire Regulation, an outdoor stove is a CSA-rated or ULC-rated device used outdoors for cooking, heat or ambiance that burns charcoal briquettes, liquid fuel, or gaseous fuel, and has a flame height that is less than 15 cm tall.

Anyone who lights, fuels, or uses an open fire when a fire prohibition is in place or fails to comply with an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150 or, if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be subject to a penalty of up to $100,000 and ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

The Coastal Fire Centre is enacting a campfire prohibition effective at noon Pacific Daylight Time on Friday, July 7, 2023. All campfires will be prohibited throughout the Coastal Fire Centre, except the Haida Gwaii Forest District. This prohibition will be in place until Tuesday, October 31, 2023, or until the order is rescinded.

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Get FireSmart:

The number one hazard to the District of Sooke is wildfire and preparing for a wildfire event is a shared responsibility. FireSmart principles have shown to be effective at reducing the risk related to losses in the most extreme wildfire conditions. Building and maintaining protection around your home and property is an ongoing task throughout the year.

To report a wildfire:

Report any irresponsible behaviour that could start a wildfire, such as throwing a cigarette butt from a car or dropping cigarette butts in areas that could cause a fire, call *5555 or 1-800-663-5555.


Sooke Fire Rescue

Tel: 250-642-5422