Keep the flames contained, Sooke.
Last week the province banned all open burning, aside from small campfires, for all “high smoke sensitivity zones” throughout the province until April 15. The decision comes as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the effects smoke and pollutants can have on respiratory infections.
Sooke was classified as a high smoke sensitivity zone, which means no new backyard or land fires may be initiated, and no material may be added to existing fires. Only small, contained campfires are permitted from sunrise to 1 a.m., and residents are asked to only use split wood, not garbage, garden debris or any other prohibited items.
“Just fires to cook food or roast marshmallows are allowed,” said Sooke Mayor Maja Tait.
Sooke, along with the rest of the province, can expect more regulations moving forward amid the spread of COVID-19.
Tait said she is on conference calls daily, which are often provincial and federally related, gathering information on how to best manage the pandemic on a municipal level.
“We will just have to see how things go. We are taking recommendations and acting accordingly, so we can just hope for the best,” Tait said.
Currently, some of the district’s main concerns are taking care of those most vulnerable in Sooke, making sure people have have access to necessary resources and are getting out to the appointments they need, supporting those who have been laid off due to the virus, encouraging social distancing and doing their best to keep the community healthy, safe and informed.
The medical clinic in Sooke has been trying to do many appointments online so minimize the need for people to come in to the clinic. Tait added that the community has also been doing its part to help protect each other against the virus by practicing social distancing and complying to the orders from authorities.
For additional information on the District of Sooke’s response to COVID-19, please visit their website at sooke.ca. Tait also posts to her social media platforms daily, updating citizens on the situation and what is happening within the community.