Warm weather is here but fire officials warn that could mean early start to fire season


WATCH: After a rather long and cold winter, the sun is finally shining but that brings a whole new set of problems and even though it’s only the third day of this warm weather, we’ve already caught a glimpse of what those can be. As Luisa Alvarez reports since these conditions are expected to persist officials have a few reminders. 

The normally soothing view along Dallas Road was contrasted Saturday with smoke and high reaching flames after someone’s beach fire got out of control and spread.

“It doesn’t take many days of sunny dry weather or even just dry weather to turn this into a tinder box,”  Victoria Fire Battalion Chief Doug Carey told CHEK News Saturday.

Saturday temperatures were in the double digits and this week, they’re expected to hit the mid-teens. It’s a trend of higher-than-seasonal temperatures that are forecast to remain for a while.

“We are definitely expecting a milder spring and summer season compared to normal, ” said Carmen Hartt Meteorologist with Environment Canada.

Hartt says jumping from a very cold February and early March to warm spring, even summer-like temperatures, reaffirms the trends they’ve seen before.

“We’ve seen this trend of longer dry spells and longer wet spells so regardless of if it’s a dry summer or a wet summer, we can still have concerning times with long periods of dryness,” said Hartt.

The smell of the burnt brush from Saturday’s fire still lingered where it happened on Monday and fire officials say its a good example that all it takes is a spark and a fire can spread.

They’re reminding everyone that no open burning or beach fires are permitted anywhere in the city at any time of year as per the Parks Regulation Bylaw.

The Victoria Fire Department responds to nearly 200 beach fire calls each year that they say can put people’s health, property and the environment at risk. A beach fire offence can result in a fine ranging from $350 to $2,000 in Victoria.

Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured in Saturday’s brush fire and officials were able to put it out but fairly quickly.

“We are transitioning into fire season slowly as you can see from the weekend,” said Acting Platoon Captain for the Victoria Fire Department John Mokosak.

“If people could just be aware of discarding cigarette butts in a safe manner because they smoulder and they are very hot. It touches anything that is combustible and we could have ourselves a very large fire.”

Mokosak says even if the top layer of dirt feels wet, the layer of soil below is usually dry.

“There is potential for them to spark up whether its rainy season or dry season,” said Mokosak.

Luisa AlvarezLuisa Alvarez

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