Campfires are once again permitted on Vancouver Island as of noon Wednesday, Sept. 27, following a prolonged period of drought in B.C.
The Coastal Fire Centre, which includes Vancouver Island and parts of the mainland coast, announced the end of the campfire ban on Tuesday.
The Coastal Fire Centre tells CHEK News that the region is entering a “fall-like weather pattern” and that recent rainfall has helped the Island reach a relatively safe fire danger rating.
All areas of the Island are now at a “low” or “very low” fire danger rating.
The fire centre adds that lower temperatures and higher relative humidity are helping offset fire risks.
Drought conditions are still a concern, however.
On Sept. 21, the last time the province’s interactive drought information map was updated, all of Vancouver Island was under level five drought conditions, the most extreme on the scale.
This was before a fall storm swept through the region over the weekend, however, prompting some high-streamflow advisories for several areas of Vancouver Island.
Wildfires still burning on Vancouver Island
Twenty-three wildfires are still burning on Vancouver Island as of Wednesday, all of which are considered under control or being held.
Many of those fires are lightning-caused and are burning in remote areas of the Island, according to a Coastal Fire Centre spokesperson.
“The main area of concentration of the lightning-caused fires is now in an area that has a very low fire danger rating,” they said.
“We will continue to monitor the fires on Vancouver Island until they can be called out.”
The fire centre still asks residents to exercise extreme caution when having a fire of any kind, and to follow proper campfire protocols, like having adequate water on hand, making sure the fire is smaller than half a metre by half a metre, and making sure the fire area is cool to the touch before leaving.
“We also recognize that communities and businesses rely on campfires for personal/cultural reasons and for their livelihood,” said the spokesperson.