After responding to a small fire Wednesday evening, Colwood Fire Rescue is reminding residents that beach fires, campfires or any backyard burning is not permitted.
Crews were called after a log was found smouldering off Ocean Boulevard at the Esquimalt Lagoon. While the fire was minor, it had to the potential to become much worse with high winds and the extremely dry conditions.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
“People still need to exercise caution,” said Assistant Chief Greg Chow. “We don’t permit beach fires anyways.”
Beach fires at the lagoon are not permitted at any time of the year, as the City of Colwood prohibits all open yard fires, beach fires, campfires and land clearing, demolition or construction waste fire.
Some contained fire appliances, such as propane fires, are permitted with a number of limitations – except when the fire rating is high or extreme. The current fire rating is extreme.
Wednesday also marked the start of the Coastal Fire Centre’s campfire ban, which came into effect at noon.
Under the ban, campfires and category three fires (open fires larger than two metres high by three metres wide) are no longer permitted on the Island with some exceptions in the fog zone, which spans part of the Island’s west coast from Owen Point to the Port Hardy area.
Other prohibited activities include open fires, unauthorized stoves or portable campfire gear, tiki torches, fireworks, sky lanterns, burning barrels, or binary exploding targets.
CSA and ULC approved cooking stoves and campfire apparatus are still permitted in some areas, as long as flames do not reach higher than 15 centimetres.
Anyone found in contravention of the ban could be issued a ticket for $1,150, be required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000, or if convicted in court, face a $100,000 fine and one year in jail.