Sooke Fire Rescue Urges Fire Safety for Canada Day Weekend

Thursday, June 29, 2023 – Canada Day is quickly approaching, and Sooke Fire Rescue urges residents to prioritize fire safety over the long weekend. The Fire Danger Rating remains HIGH for the District of Sooke. Fires can start easily, burn quickly, and challenge fire suppression efforts. As warm and dry weather continues, everyone needs to be responsible and vigilant.

“We want to remind the community that fireworks are strictly prohibited. Fireworks are a common activity this time of year within the region but are an unnecessary risk. Public safety is the priority, and we are asking residents to respect the fire ban,” says Sooke Fire Chief Ted Ruiter.

When using a barbecue, do so in a safe location away from structures and flammable materials. Always keep children and pets at a safe distance and never leave them unattended while in use. “The upcoming long weekend is for friends and family to spend time together. Preventing fire-related incidents for us is important so everyone can enjoy the weekend safely,” says Ruiter.

A campfire prohibition remains in effect for the District of Sooke and will remain in place until September 30, 2023, or until the order is rescinded. In addition to open fires being prohibited, the following activities and equipment are also restricted:

  • Fireworks;
  • Sky Lanterns;
  • Burn Barrels or Burn Cages (these are banned year-round in Sooke);
  • Binary Exploding Targets;
  • Air Curtain Burners;
  • Tiki and similar kinds 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 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.

Human-caused wildfires are completely preventable and divert critical resources away from other emergency events. To report a wildfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone.

Wishing a safe and happy Canada Day to all those celebrating in our community!


Sooke Fire Rescue

Tel: 250-642-5422