Fire officials want people to enjoy their outdoor activities this long weekend, but be careful at the same time.
Donna MacPherson, a Coastal Fire Centre spokeswoman, said campfires are still permitted on the Island.
But enjoying a campfire comes with the responsibility of ensuring it is safely contained with an adequate fireguard and put out properly, she added.
On Monday evening, a three-person wildfire crew and helicopter responded to a fire on a small, rocky island off the coast of Lasqueti Island near Parksville.
MacPherson said a campfire was started too close to driftwood on the beach and then failed to put the fire out properly when they left.
That’s a good example of what she hopes crews will not have to deal with this weekend.
As of Wednesday, the Nanaimo region is still in the moderate fire danger rating, but the centre’s weather forecaster predicts things are going to get drier and hotter in the long term.
“Enjoy the weekend, but be responsible and safe,” said MacPherson.
On top of being cautious with campfires, she said people should also stay out of dry grass when operating an ATV and dispose of cigarette butts in a canister of water or portable ashtray rather than on the ground.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, please call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on a cellphone. Anyone whose actions start or contribute to a wildfire can be ordered to pay a $10,000 penalty plus all firefighting and associated costs.
While campfires are permitted throughout the Coastal Fire Centre in municipalities and areas that do not have their own bylaws, backyard burning is banned in Nanaimo, including campfires, which are only permitted at campgrounds. The only exception is cooking fires less than 24 inches in diameter, which must use only clean, dry wood and be put out after two hours.