Make sure campfires are thoroughly doused and keep an eye peeled for fires triggered by lightning strikes this weekend.
Donna MacPherson, fire information officer with the B.C. Coastal Fire Centre, said Nanaimo lies in a zone of moderate risk for forest fires and the risk factor is worsening as summer weather dries out the landscape.
“Normally on this side of the Island there’s a strip of dry-ish area that runs from Courtenay to the tip of Victoria, so we’re starting to see that area go into our normal summer dryness,” MacPherson said.
No wildfires were sparked by lightning strikes on southern Vancouver Island early Friday through the latter half of the week, but there is a higher risk of lightning strikes Saturday (July 14) covering an area that could stretch as far north as Parksville and Port Alberni.
“Our message, besides being careful if you’re out in the forest and especially with campfires, would he if you see anything to report the wildfire as quickly as you can,” MacPherson said. “The sooner we can get to it, the smaller we can keep it, so we need those eyes out there looking for us as well as our own people.”
So far, campfires have not been banned, but people are asked to be extremely careful with campfires and to make sure they are thoroughly extinguished after use.
“I think people need to pick up the skill of being able to enjoy a campfire safely. It’s something I think people can work a little bit on and that ability to put it out at the end is really what it all comes down to,” MacPherson said.
Anyone who spots a wildfire is asked to report it immediately by calling 1-800-663-5555 or, on a cell phone, *5555.