Campfires are now banned in all areas of the Sunshine Coast as the fire rating is reaching extreme on a daily basis.
"That bit of rain we had was helpful, but in the dry areas it tends to dry up really quick and the dew overnight helps some but by 11 a.m. everything's dry again," said Sechelt fire Chief Bill Higgs.
He said Sechelt is the last jurisdiction to put the ban into effect starting Friday, Aug. 9 at noon. Gibsons, Halfmoon Bay, Pender Harbour and Roberts Creek have been under a campfire ban for nearly a week now, Higgs said.
"We recognize the fact that people value having a campfire and we hang on as long as we can before we ban it," Higgs said, adding propane-powered fire rings are allowed to be used during the ban. "At least that's a reasonable option for people who want to enjoy a campfire."
Higgs also warns the public not to release paper lanterns during this dry season as the forest is "tinder dry and could go up really quick."
The department has had two calls recently to deal with paper lanterns threatening to start fires in dry areas of the Coast, Higgs said.