Wildfire danger set to jump

It might have been a quiet year on the wildfire front, but campers and others planning to take to the woods are being asked to be extra careful as forests continue to dry out.

It might have been a quiet year on the wildfire front, but campers and others planning to take to the woods are being asked to be extra careful as forests continue to dry out.

Donna MacPherson, fire information officer for the Coastal Fire Centre, said the fire danger may be moderate now, but she’s expecting it to rise – and fast.

Because of the cool, wet spring and summer, MacPherson said firefighters have had a fairly quiet year to date, with less than a quarter of the fires they usually fight.

Doug Bell, chief fire investigator with Nanaimo Fire Rescue, said the fire danger rating went from high to extreme in Nanaimo over the weekend, which means backyard cooking fires and any open burning under special permit is no longer allowed.

Use of outdoor cooking appliances such as barbecues is not restricted.

Bell said people should check the fire danger rating before they have a fire because a violation could bring a $200 fine.