Campfire ban still in place in Parksville Qualicum Beach

CFC fire information officer Donna MacPherson called this summer "abnormally dry"

Parts of the Coastal Fire Centre were granted reprieve from a campfire ban last Friday, however Parksville Qualicum Beach is still under a strict campfire prohibition.

“Our campfire ban (in Parksville Qualicum Beach) is still standing,” CFC fire information officer Donna MacPherson told The NEWS Tuesday afternoon. “We need some substantial rain to moisten up the forests (for the ban to be lifted).”

Parksville Qualicum Beach has been under a campfire ban since July 17 with intermittent short-term lifts.

MacPherson called this summer “abnormally dry.”

“It’s been a while since we’ve seen rain,” she said, adding the north end of the Island, which is typically quite wet, is experiencing the same drier-than-usual conditions.

According to a news release issued by the CFC parts of the Lower Fraser Valley and Haida Gwaii, both included in the CFC, lifted their campfire bans due to recent precipitation.

The CFC covers all B.C. Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by fire departments. Residents are advised to check with local governments for any other restrictions before lighting a fire.

Parksville Volunteer Fire Department deputy fire chief Marc Norris confirmed Parksville is still under a campfire ban and said he “highly doubts” it will be lifted anytime before mid-September.

“Unless we get a significant rainfall I would suggest it won’t be lifted,” he said. “It’s been fairly dry.”

The Coastal Fire Centre covers the area west of the height of land on the Coast Mountain Range from the U.S.-Canada border at Manning Park, including South Tweedsmuir Park in the north, the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland, all of Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii.

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