Drying conditions prompt warning from Sooke Fire Rescue

The warning stems from a fire season that is expected to be more intense than usual.

  • Apr. 20, 2016 5:00 a.m.

As the dry summer weather quickly approaches, so does the high-risk fire season, warn fire and rescue officials.

The warning stems from a fire season that is expected to be more intense than usual.

Sooke Fire and Rescue Chief Steven Sorensen said from now through August, the weather will turn “significantly warmer and drier” than the seasonal average.

“We already have the potential for a fire to get away from people, such as a backyard fire creeping through the underbrush,” he said.

There are no “high risk” fire spots in Sooke, though Sorensen pointed out the fire department’s main concern are areas where people are few and few between.

This is because fires in rural areas tend to get bigger much faster, as there is no one around to notice right away.

“If your neighbour has a fire in their yard, somebody calls us pretty quickly and we’re able to get there, but if we have something up Harbourview Road or up a trail, then it gets more difficult,” Sorensen said.

Locating a fire in a rural area can prove just as challenging, as not all roads may lead to Rome.

“We can see the smoke, but sometimes we spend half an hour trying to figure out what road to take to get to it,” Sorensen said.

View Royal had its first bark mulch fire last week, making it the first one of the season. Sorensen said bark mulch, tossed cigarettes and landscaping are all considered a risk, just as they were the source of several calls in Sooke last summer.

In 2015, nine bark mulch fires were related to careless discarding of cigarettes and two brush fires, while Sorensen confirmed discarded smoking material as the cause of the Grant Manor apartment fire last July. The fire resulted in more than $1 million in damage and displaced 17 residents who are still out of their homes almost a year later.

Right now, no fire restrictions are in effect, though Sorensen encouraged Sooke residents to keep vigilant in the short and long interim.

“If you have a campfire, make sure it’s completely out, put water on it, make sure it’s not deep-seeded somewhere,” he said. “If you smoke, put your cigarette out in your ashtray, if your car doesn’t have one, get a soup can or something.”

Open burning is not allowed in Sooke from June 1 until the end of September. Only campfires are allowed, unless there is a campfire ban in effect due to extremely dry weather.

 

Just Posted

Port Renfrew man charged with animal cruelty

Hot coffee poured on dog’s face, say police

Sooke cougar sighting unconfirmed

Boy had a close encounter with the big cat

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

Sarah McLachlan performs and donors raise $555,000 for inclusive outdoor activities

Power To Be reached their fundraising goal at their Nature Gala on July 12

Victoria shipyard awarded one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contracts

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Anglican Church to review governance structure after same-sex marriage change fails

Some say the current system to change doctrine gives too much voting power to a smaller class of bishops

B.C. adding fast-charge stations for electric highway trips

Okanagan, Vancouver Island, Kootenay stations ready for use

15-year-old with imitation gun caused ‘dynamic’ scene at Nanaimo mall

No one was harmed in Monday’s incident, say Nanaimo RCMP

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

RCMP investigating alleged ‘sexual misconduct’ by cyclist on BCIT campus

BCIT said they were reviewing video evidence of the incident

New home cost dips in B.C.’s large urban centres

Victoria, Kelowna, Vancouver prices decline from last year

Graphic suicide scene edited out of ‘13 Reasons Why’ finale

Suicide prevention groups support the decision

Most Read