‘Put a fire in your heart not in the forest,’ a solid exhortation from Barney Marine on West Coast Road in Sooke. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

‘Put a fire in your heart not in the forest,’ a solid exhortation from Barney Marine on West Coast Road in Sooke. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

Sooke’s extreme fire danger rating means high-risk activities banned

Most fires around Sooke are human-caused, deputy fire chief says

Dry, hot weather in Sooke comes with a ban on high-risk activities.

Sooke is at an “extreme” fire danger rating, which automatically enacts a ban on certain activities which can start fires, like the use of fire- or spark-producing tools, mechanical brushing or metal grinding.

Sooke Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Matt Barney said the District of Sooke has been at an extreme rating for longer than some places in the Interior and stressed that the threat of wildland fire is high.

“The fortunate part here is that we don’t tend to get as much lighting as other places,” he said.

It also means the vast majority of wildfires around the South Island are human-caused.

One Sooke Fire Rescue member is fighting wildfires in the 100 Mile House area alongside Metchosin firefighters. They’re scheduled to be there for another week until a crew change takes place.

READ MORE: Out of control, Muir Creek fire has grown to one hectare

Lighting a fire of any kind is banned now, and the Sooke Fire Rescue also reminds smokers to put out and dispose of cigarette butts carefully. It also asks locals to report any irresponsible behaviour that could start a fire by calling *5555 or 1-800-663-5555.

So far, Barney said Sooke Fire Rescue has had a few calls to beach fires, but for the most part, people are aware of the risk and are being careful.

The ban on high-risk activities will be in effect until the fire danger rating is downgraded for at least three consecutive days. A complete list of banned activities is available on the District of Sooke’s website: sooke.ca/extreme-fire-danger-rating-high-risk-activities-prohibited/.


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