Giving thanks around a campfire won’t be an option locally this weekend. Effective noon on Oct. 8 and until further notice, open burning is banned in all fire protection areas of the Coast, including Gibsons and Sechelt, according to an Oct. 7 news release from the Sunshine Coast Regional District’s (SCRD) Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).
In the province’s most recent drought level update, issued Oct. 6 the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland and west Vancouver Island were increased from drought Level 4 to 5.
At Level 5, conditions are exceptionally dry, according to the provincial drought scale, and all efforts should be made to conserve water and protect critical environmental flows.
On Sept. 27, the SCRD activated an EOC to help manage drought conditions in it’s Chapman water system, which serves the majority of its water clients in areas from West Howe Sound to Halfmoon Bay. The system has been on Stage 4 water restrictions, which includes a ban on all outdoor uses since Aug. 31.
“Our focus at this time needs to be on conserving water and with such dry conditions, fire and associated use of our limited water supply is a risk that we cannot take,” EOC director Remko Rosenboom, stated in the release. “I ask that everyone on the Sunshine Coast follows this ban and continues to be mindful of water use at this time.”
The release also asked all water users on the Chapman Water System to take some time to review the SCRD's recommended water conservations measures in efforts to get daily household water use below 400 litres per day immediately to ensure water supplies remain available into November.