Taking heat: TikTokers under fire for sparking heart-shaped blaze at Tofino beach

Taking heat: TikTokers under fire for sparking heart-shaped blaze at Tofino beach
This screenshot of a TikTok video shows a couple standing in the middle of a heart-shaped beach fire in Tofino. The video was posted amid a fire ban, and RCMP say they are investigating the incident.

Social media users are fuming about a new viral video showing a couple sparking a heart-shaped beach fire in Tofino amid a fire ban.

A TikTok user posted the video to the platform with the caption, “He said he wanted to do something cute to show how much he loves me then he did this.”

The footage, which shows her boyfriend igniting the fire before the pair kiss, was filmed at South Chesterman Beach. The popular 2.7-kilometre beach is located off the Pacific Rim Highway south of Tofino.

But flames from the fire aren’t the only heat the couple is facing.

On Monday, a screenshot of the video was uploaded to a local Tofino Facebook group. According to this poster, paper towels formed the heart shape. 

“Video shows the fire burning for quite some time and being put out with sand, leaving gas-soaked paper towel in the sand,” the Facebook poster said.

Another TikTok user, Hannah Tarrant, later reposted the video to her own TikTok page, saying, “This girl did this in Tofino, B.C., during a literal fire ban while were on Level 3 water restrictions because that’s how much of a drought we’re in.”

Vancouver Island is currently under a Category 1 fire ban, “which includes the prohibition of all beach fires and campfires in Tofino as regulated by the Province’s Coastal Fire Centre,” the District of Tofino tells CHEK News.

“Tofino is a special place where we encourage visitors and residents to enjoy beaches responsibly, please visit tofino.ca/beaches to follow all current regulations,” the district said in an emailed statement Tuesday.

While the district says on its website that beach fires are allowed on Mackenzie and Chesterman beaches between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., they must be contained in a clean burning or reduced smoke fire appliance.

A B.C. RCMP spokesperson tells CHEK News that Tofino RCMP received a report about the video on Friday, Aug. 4. The spokesperson says an active police investigation is underway.

According to the B.C. government, anyone found in contravention of a fire ban can be fined up to $1,150.

“Please, guys, all I’m asking for anyone who sees this video is that you don’t do this without proper research,” pleaded Tarrant.

“Honestly, this put the whole town at risk. We’re not very big, and one little fire can burn down the whole town, especially since we’re on a provincial park and don’t have access to a lot of emergency vehicles,” she added.

“I know it’s hard to take fire bans seriously since they happen so frequently now. But if you want to keep coming back to Tofino, you got to respect our rules, please.”

No charges have been laid or recommended in this incident.

@hannahtarrant3 #duet with @Ashley Smeeth #touristbelike #pleaserespectnature #fireban #tofinobc #vancouverisland #canada #bc #beachvibes #entittlement #tofino ♬ original sound – Hannah Tarrant

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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