(File photo)

Unlike last year, and the current heatwave sitting over Vancouver Island, there will be no campfire this BC Day long weekend.

With that in mind, BC forest and fire officials are warning residents, travellers and campers in the province to be prepared for increased risk of wildfires as high temperatures stick around.

“Sustained high temperatures throughout British Columbia this week are increasing the potential for wildfires,” said the Ministry of Forests in a news release Thursday afternoon.

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As of this publication, there have been 410 wildfires in the province so far this year, 96 of those have sparked in the last seven days. 60 of those fires remain active.

Of the wildfires this year, 13% (8) were human caused. 33% were categorized as unknown while 53% were contributed to lightning strikes.

“Human-caused fires are completely preventable and may cause the BC Wildfire Service to divert resources away from responding to naturally occurring fires,” the province says.

There are no active fires on Vancouver Island.

While it’s great that small campfires are still permitted, it does come with responsibility — that means keeping fires under half a metre high and wide, and keeping water or a tool close by to keep them under control.

In addition, active campfires should never be left unattended.

According to BC Parks, there are currently no fire bans in the province.

A heat warning from Environment Canada has been in effect around much of BC for most of this week — and it will continue through at least Sunday.

Anyone that violates the campfire regulations, may be:

  • Handed a violation ticket for $1,150,
  • Required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000,
  • or If convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail.

Due to last year’s heat dome in BC,  campfire bans were implemented extremely early on Vancouver Island. Campers longing for a s’mores and guitar session by the campfire last year only had until June 30th, 2021 to enjoy.

If a violation causes or contributes to a wildfire, individuals may be ordered to pay for all firefighting and associated costs.

If you see a wildfire, abandoned campfire or dangerous activity that could cause a wildfire, call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on a cell phone.


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