Fire Danger Rating Updated to Extreme – High-Risk Activities Prohibited

Updated August 3, 2022, 2:45 p.m. – The Coastal Fire Centre is enacting a campfire prohibition effective 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Thursday, August 4, 2022.

“Effective 12 p.m. (noon) PDT on Thursday, August 4, 2022, campfires will be prohibited throughout the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, excluding the Haida Gwaii Forest District. This prohibition is being enacted to help reduce wildfire risk and protect public safety.

This prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands within the Coastal Fire Centre, unless specified otherwise. Campfires will still be allowed in Haida Gwaii.

This prohibition will be in place until October 28, 2022, or until the order is rescinded.

A map of the affected areas is available online: http://ow.ly/ojX230spiTP.”

The ban does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or portable campfire devices that use briquettes, liquid, or gaseous fuel, provided they are CSA or ULC approved, and the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.

Learn more:

https://blog.gov.bc.ca/bcwildfire/coastal-fire-centre-enacts-campfire-prohibition/


Tuesday, August 2, 2022 – The Fire Danger rating in Sooke is now EXTREME. High-risk activities, in adherence with the Wildfire Act (Wildfire Regulation, Section 6), that are on or within 300m of forest land or grass land, are prohibited. There are dry forest fuels and the fire risk is very serious. New fires will start easily, spread rapidly, and challenge fire suppression efforts.

High-risk activities include (but are not limited to) the following:

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

Campfires

While small campfires in a contained ring (2 feet or smaller), that are at least 20 feet away from any property lines or structures – burning clean, split wood only – are still permitted, residents are reminded to not leave a campfire unattended and keep a bucket of water nearby.

The District will follow provincial direction regarding any campfire prohibitions and issue updates through the District website and Twitter page. With minimal rain in the forecast, it is anticipated that a province-wide campfire ban will be in effect in the coming days.

Additional Considerations

Sooke Fire Rescue reminds smokers to dispose of cigarette butts responsibly. 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.

Please report any fires directly to 911. Report any unauthorized activity that poses a risk of fire to the Sooke Fire Department at 250.642.5422.

Our combined efforts help prevent human-caused wildfires and structure fires, protect our natural environment and ensure public safety. Thank you for keeping our community safe.

Learn more: 

Contact:
District of Sooke Fire Department
Tel: 250.642.5422
e: firedept@sooke.ca

Media Contact:
Christina Moog, Communications Coordinator
Email: cmoog@sooke.ca
Phone: (250) 642-1634, ext. 678

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