Fire ban now in effect in select CVRD communities

A fire ban is now in effect for Ladysmith, North Oyster and Saltair, but the Municipality of North Cowichan has opted out.

Hot, dry weather and a looming risk of thunderstorms prompted the Coastal Fire Centre (CFC) to impose a fire ban for much of Vancouver Island and the South Coast, but not all Cowichan Valley Regional District municipalities have followed suit.

The CFC imposed the ban Thursday, August 1, at 12 p.m. and according to a press release issued by the CFC July 31, the ban applies to “all open fires, including campfires” in the CFC’s coverage region — Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, Haida Gwaii and the southern half of coastal mainland B.C. — save for the “Fog Zone” on Vancouver Island’s west coast and Haida Gwaii.

Communities serviced by their own fire departments are not subject to the fire ban, but Ladysmith Fire Chief Ray Delcourt said Ladysmith routinely follows suit, imposing fire bans within Town limits that conform to the CFC’s scheduled restrictions.

A fire ban is now in place for Ladysmith and will remain in effect until the CFC lifts its ban, Delcourt said.

That same ban applies to the North Oyster fire protection district, but the Municipality of North Cowichan, meanwhile, has decided not to impose a ban, Chemainus Fire Chief Neil Rukus said.

Rukus confirmed that while Saltair is serviced by a North Cowichan fire hall (Chemainus’), the CFC ban is now in effect in Saltair, too.

Danger ratings of “high” to “extreme” led the CFC to impose the ban in order to “prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.”

Prohibited are “open fires of any size, fires with a burn registration number, industrial burning, fireworks, tiki torches, sky lanterns and burning barrels.”

The Ladysmith Days “Fireworks Spectacular” — to be staged from a barge anchored off Transfer Beach Park Sunday night — has received an exemption from the ban, Delcourt confirmed.

CSA- or ULC-approved portable stoves burning briquettes, liquid fuel or pressurized fuel are exempt from the ban provided the flames they produce are less than 15 centimetres tall.

Violations of the fire ban can result in fines of up to $345, the notice states, and anyone responsible for causing wildfires through arson or recklessness “may be fined for up to $1 million, spend up to three years in prison and be held accountable for associated firefighting costs.

The prohibition will remain in effect until October 15 or until the CFC rescinds the ban.

Elizabeth Neumann, an employee at Country Maples RV Resort in Chemainus, said the ban won’t have much of an impact on campers visiting their park save possibly for the odd tenter.

“The die-hards will still come,” Neumann said, “but people who come once a year and whose whole idea is to sit around a campfire and do s’mores and all that fun stuff, they may think twice about coming camping. But that’s just a very small minority of people.”

Neumann said Country Maples has “lots of staff,” making the job of enforcing fire bans an easy one as the majority of campers willingly extinguish their fires when they learn a ban is in effect.

 

Just Posted

CVRD to increase enforcement after audits reveal that curb-side recycling contamination in the district is well above acceptable limits. (File photo)
CVRD reports contamination in recyclables well above acceptable levels

Increased enforcement planned starting this summer

A conceptual rendering of the commercial plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road. (Town of Ladysmith/June 15 Council Agenda)
Rocky Creek commercial plaza passes public hearing

The proposed plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road would bring commercial activity to Ladysmith’s north end

Kate Cram and her team at Old Town Ice Cream are thrilled to be open for business. (Cole Schisler photo)
Old Town Ice Cream opens up right on time for summer

Located at 539 1st Avenue, Old Time Ice Cream is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read