Fire danger rating at highest level

NANAIMO – Region fire danger rating hits extreme as dry spell continues.

The current dry spell has pushed Nanaimo area’s fire danger rating to its highest level.

Marg Drysdale, Coastal Fire Centre fire information officer, said as of Wednesday morning, the extreme-level fire danger rating area stretches from Nanaimo to Lake Cowichan and halfway to Duncan and would likely be expanded to include Duncan by Wednesday afternoon.

Fire prohibition areas were also expanded Wednesday at noon when Coastal Fire Centre included Haida Gwaii in a ban on all industrial burning and smaller Category 2 fires, which are small piles of material less than two metres high and three metres wide. Also banned are firecrackers, fireworks, sky lanterns, burning barrels and burning cages of any size or description and use of binary exploding firearms targets. The bans will remain in place until Oct. 16.

Campfires, less than a half-metre tall by a half-metre wide are still permitted.

“The temperatures may drop Thursday and Friday, but we’re still not seeing any substantial rain coming in,” Drysdale said.

Penalties for contravening the fire prohibition range up to $100,000 and one year in jail.

For more information, please visit http://bcwildfire.ca. To report a wildfire, please call 1 800 663-5555 or *5555 on a cellphone.