Monday, June 24, 2024

Campfires and fireworks banned as wildfires ramp up across Vancouver Island


Beginning at noon on Thursday, June 8th, a ban on campfires will come into effect in BC’s coastal regions as wildfires continue to spread.

On May 18th, a ban on ‘Category 2’ and ‘Category 3’ fires came into effect which included any large burn pile over half a metre in diameter and height. At that time campfires were still permitted, but the wildfire situation has begun to get out of hand for the BC Wildfire Service since then.

Along with campfires being banned beginning this Thursday, fireworks, tiki torches or similar torches, sky lanterns, burn barrels, binary exploding targets, air curtain burners and chimineas. 

Propane-based, portable fire pits are still permitted for camping enthusiasts who just can’t camp without a fire to sit around.

Anyone who is caught breaking this fire ban may be given a hefty fine of up to $10,000, or if convicted, a $100,000 fine and/or one year in prison. 

If the banned fire spreads and causes a wildfire, whoever set the blaze will be responsible for all damages and firefighting costs. 

This fire ban will remain in effect until Tuesday, October 31st, or until the order is rescinded by the BC Wildfire Service. 

At this time, it is unclear how the firework restriction will effect Butchart Garden’s weekly fireworks display or Canada Day celebrations throughout Vancouver Island.

(BC Wildfire Service)

As of this publication, there are 82 wildfires in BC, two of which are located on Vancouver Island. 

The Cameron Bluffs wildfire has had its status upgraded from ‘out of control’ to being a ‘wildfire of note,’ meaning that it is a direct concern for public safety. 

There is still no evacuation order in effect for this fire, but a section of Highway 4 has been closed down temporarily due to the blaze. 

Curtis Blandy

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