The Pacheedaht First Nation is asking protesters to vacate the Fairy Creek area and other forested spaces near Port Renfrew due to the risk of wildfires.
The nation says it’s concerned about the possibility of human-caused wildfires threatening its community and natural resources, including forests.
“To prevent the possibility of human caused wildfires that could threaten the Pacheedaht First Nation community, businesses and natural resources, including old-growth forests in the Fairy Creek area, and with the safety of the protesters in mind, the Pacheedaht is requesting that all protesters immediately cease fire activity, such as campfires, and vacate their traditional territory,” reads a statement from the First Nation.
Chief councillor Jeff Jones says protesters should leave the territory and let the First Nation decide how best to manage its land.
British Columbia is coming off a heat wave that saw several record-setting temperatures set over the course of five days.
The heat has created extremely dry conditions across the province and wildfires have began to spark and rapidly spread in a handful of areas. Lytton — a B.C. village that set the all-time hottest temperature recorded in Canada (46.1 C) during the recent heatwave — has been the site of a devastating fire that is deemed “out of control” by BC Wildfire Service.
Earlier this month, the Pacheedaht joined two other First Nations in giving the province notice indicating they want old-growth logging deferred for two years in Fairy Creek and the Walbran area.