Fire danger rating hits 'extreme' for parts of Vancouver Island
A wildfire that sparked near Sooke grew to 85 hectares before it was fully contained earlier this month. (Submitted)
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Thursday, July 12, 2018 11:48AM PDT
The Coastal Fire Centre has raised the fire danger rating for part of eastern Vancouver Island to the highest level possible, and a campfire ban may not be far behind.
An area from Duncan to Cedar is now listed as having an "extreme" fire danger rating, which is the highest such rating.
It means the fire risk for those areas is serious due to extremely dry forest fuels, and new fires could spark easily and spread rapidly.
The fire centre is asking residents to practice safety when dealing with anything flammable and advising them to always have water, never leave campfires unattended and use extreme caution with cigarettes – including not tossing butts onto roads.
The Coastal Fire Centre is already under Category 2 open burning restrictions that were issued May 18, which applies to open fires smaller than two metres high and three metres wide.
Hish-risk items like fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, burning barrels or cages and binary exploding targets are also prohibited.
With the weather forecast to remain hot and dry for the next week on Vancouver Island, a campfire ban could be issued in the Coastal Fire Centre as early as next week.
"We are always watching the conditions very carefully and we'll be assessing on Monday whether we need a campfire ban," said Dorthe Jakobsen, spokeswoman for the Coastal Fire Centre.
Earlier this month, crews spent several days getting a handle on an 85-hectare wildfire near Sooke that is believed to have been human-caused.
Heavy winds helped quickly spread the flames across the Tugwell Creek area before firefighters fully contained it last weekend.