Smoke from wildfires burning in the Interior is expected to drift down through valleys into coastal areas on Tuesday and Wednesday (Aug. 1-2, 2017), due to a change in weather conditions. These conditions could persist for the remainder of this week.
Prevailing winds normally travel from the Coast to the Interior of the province. This week, however, the winds are expected to switch into outflow conditions and move air from the Interior to the Coast. This air will be very warm, exceptionally dry and likely smoky.
This weather pattern will rapidly dry out coastal forests, making them more susceptible to wildfire and making it more challenging for firefighters to put out existing fires. Members of the public are asked to use caution with any activity that could potentially spark a new wildfire.
The BC Wildfire Service continues to receive reports of illegal campfires and improperly discarded cigarettes. Members of the public are urged to remain vigilant and help prevent human-caused wildfires:
- Do not light any open fire of any size, including campfires.
- Ensure that trailers are properly maintained. Dragging sway bars, safety chains or locked brakes can create sparks.
- Ensure that propane in recreational equipment is turned off at the tank when travelling.
- Park or ride your motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle or any other off-road vehicle responsibly. Avoid grass or areas where the exhaust system is close to combustible material.
- Use an approved spark arrestor on your vehicle’s exhaust system to reduce wildfire risks.
- Take appropriate precautions with all heat sources, outdoor stoves, barbecues and smoking materials. Always ensure that cigarette butts are properly extinguished.
The open fire prohibitions currently in effect in the Coastal Fire Centre do not apply to CSA-rated or ULC-rated cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, so long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.
To report a wildfire, columns of smoke or an open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
For information about air quality or to view satellite imagery from the Western Canada Smoke Forecasts, please go to: www.bcairquality.ca
The Coastal Fire Centre thanks the public for its help in preventing wildfires. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit the BC Wildfire Service website: www.bcwildfire.ca
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