High risk for out-of-control wildfires in Vancouver: officials

Jul 5 2021, 2:09 pm

Officials say that there’s currently a high risk for out-of-control fires in Vancouver right now.

Vancouver Fire Rescue Services (VFRS) says that a dry spring and above-average temperatures have left vegetation in the city dry and vulnerable. The warning comes as there are nearly 200 active wildfires across the province.

“The outdoor fire danger is currently high, meaning little is needed to ignite grass, brush, or any other organic matter,” reads a release from the City of Vancouver and VFRS.

Once lit, crews say that “fires will spread rapidly and grow exponentially.”

And while Vancouver may seem at less risk than areas closer to forests and wilderness, the City says that with several large parks and green spaces, a brush fire could become out of control in minutes, threatening both structures and life.

Anyone who lives, works, or commutes through the city is asked to practice additional caution around green spaces. The heat from combustion-powered devices such as pressure washers and generators can easily ignite nearby material. Additionally, outdoor fires of any kind are prohibited year-round.

VFRS adds that the most significant threat causing fires is cigarette butts or other materials that aren’t properly discarded.

“Cigarette butts are the cause of almost 100% of Vancouver’s outdoor fires, and should never be discarded in planters, or any
other organic matter.”

Smoking on parks and beaches or throwing cigarette butts from vehicles could result in fines starting at $500.

Vincent PlanaVincent Plana

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