Province urges water conservation with hot, dry conditions continuing 

Sea to Sky currently at Level 3 drought conditions

click to enlarge FACEBOOK PHOTO COURTESY OF THE WHISTLER PROFESSIONAL FIREFIGHTERS ASSOCIATION - LOCAL #3944 - FANNING THE FLAMES A firefighter mops up a campfire at Loggers Lake on Saturday, July 4. All outdoor fires are currently banned in Whistler.
  • Facebook photo courtesy of the Whistler Professional Firefighters Association - Local #3944
  • FANNING THE FLAMES A firefighter mops up a campfire at Loggers Lake on Saturday, July 4. All outdoor fires are currently banned in Whistler.

B.C.’s Ministry of Forests is urging the public to cut back on its water usage with hot and dry conditions in the forecast for the Sea to Sky.

The corridor — along with the South Coast and Lower Fraser regions — is currently experiencing Level 3 drought conditions, which call for a minimum 20-per-cent reduction in water use from all municipal, agricultural and industrial users.

That level could be upgraded if current weather conditions continue to have a negative impact on river stream flows and water supply, according to a provincial release.

If drought conditions do reach Level 4, the highest rating, the province can decide to temporarily suspend short-term water permits or industrial water licenses in affected areas.

The Ministry outlined several ways individuals can reduce water use in their homes, including limiting outdoor watering, especially during the hottest times of day and in particularly windy conditions, and cutting down on shower time.

The province is also warning that the Sea to Sky and other affected regions could see “significant water supply shortages in 2015.”

Locally, Whistler’s fire danger rating remains at Extreme, meaning no fires are permitted. As of Saturday, July 4, all high-risk construction activities near the forest interface have also been banned.

Photos posted to social media early Saturday by Whistler's local firefighters' union showed the remnants of a campfire at Loggers Lake.

"Lucky it was called in early," the Facebook post read.

Meanwhile, a forest fire northwest of Pemberton continues to rage on.

The fire, near Boulder Creek, was discovered June 30 and was sparked by lightning, according to the BC Wildfire Service. It has so far spread across a 500-hectare area.

An evacuation order was issued Saturday morning for both sides of the Upper Lillooet Forest Service Road (FSR) from the nine-km mark to the top of the Pemberton Valley. The order applies to the Innergex IPP at Boulder Creek as well as two pumice mines, one of which is non-operational.

No residential or agricultural properties are currently under the evacuation order.

The Upper Lillooet FSR is closed at the nine-km mark, while the Hurley River FSR remains open.

A 611-hectare blaze in the Elaho Valley has been burning since June 14.

Check back with Pique this Thursday for more.

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