Campfires left burning

Coastal Fire Centre staff disappointed that people still do this

There were no campfire-caused wildfires over the long weekend, but that was mostly luck according to Donna Macpherson, fire safety officer with the Coastal Fire Centre.

“We were rather disappointed,” she said of the five campfires their patrols found, dangerously abandoned in mid-Island campgrounds.

“It’s troubling how many people don’t understand how to put out a fire,” she said, suggesting that previous generations were more familiar with wood stoves and fireplaces.

“It can and does happen here,” she said, pointing out that even while it was a wet weekend in a wet region, they did recently have a 2.5 ha. wildfire near Courtenay.

There have already been 50 improperly extinguished fires found in the Coastal Fire Centre this summer.

They ask people to extinguish fires the way their firefighters do, put water on it, then spread it out and break it up looking for heat and coals, then pour water on it again and repeat until it is cold.

“As soon as the water evaporates, the fire starts back up,” she said suggesting that some people just throw the dishwater on it as a last thought as they rush to leave.


For briquets, she suggested a good tip is to bring a big metal coffee can that you can put briquets in with some water and a tight fitting lid to bring home and save for new time rather than dumping in the forrest.

Small, well contained camp fires are currently allowed in most campgrounds, ask where you camp about changing conditions and restrictions throughout the changing summer conditions.


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