Campfires are allowed in British Columbia this long weekend, despite growing wildfire risk

Wildfire activity is below seasonality across the province, with only one wildfire reported in the province – the Nohomin Creek Fire west of Lytton

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Despite rising temperatures, drying forest beds and an increased risk of lightning, the BC Ministry of Forests will allow campfires in its jurisdiction this BC Day long weekend.

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In a statement on Thursday, the ministry said campfires are permitted but must be followed and cannot be more than 1.5 meters wide.

Open fires of any size larger than this have been banned since July 15.

“Escaped campfires can lead to human-caused wildfires, but that doesn’t mean a campfire can’t be enjoyed safely,” the statement read.

The British Columbia Ministry of Forests, however, is still warning vacationers to be extremely vigilant this long weekend, as sustained high temperatures across the province increase the risk of wildfires. There is also an increased risk of lightning over the next week.

The ministry says residents, travelers and campers should be prepared for wildfires and heat and have an emergency plan in place, including registering with Destination BC’s Know Before You Go. Web page.

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Wildfire activity is below seasonality across the province, with only one wildfire reported in the province – the Nohomin Creek fire west of Lytton which has so far burned 2,476 hectares but is not progressing at a significant rate.

The department said lightning is forecast for fire stations in Kamloops, Southeast and Prince George early next week, when the weather is expected to change to cooler temperatures, variable clouds and scattered rains.

Fire is also an urban problem.

On Thursday, Vancouver Fire and Rescue Department spokesman Capt. Matthew Trudeau said firefighters were called this week to deal with a bushfire at Southeast Marine Drive and Knight Street that was quickly turned off.

Trudeau said the number one risk in Vancouver for bushfires is people throwing cigarette butts on the ground.

The Vancouver Park Board has this year reduced the area of ​​brush – or grassland – that is mowed as part of a pilot project to test the benefits of grass and longer brush.

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Martin E. Berry