Fire hazard rated high to extreme 

The Protection Branch of the Ministry of Forests has deemed the fire hazard reading for the coastal region to be in the high to extreme range through the long weekend.

The municipality has already removed barbecue grills from local parks, and open fires, such as backyard burning and industrial wood waste burning, have been banned since the beginning of the summer.

Campfires are still permitted, but according to Andrea Paquette, the fire information officer for the Coastal Fire Centre, "people need to take care and make sure their camp fires are out before they leave anywhere. People are finding fires that are still burning, and that is a major concern for us."

More hot weather expected over the long weekend, increasing the risk even further.

As of Wednesday there were 224 fires burning in the province, although the majority are past the initial attack, under observation, patrolled, scanned or in the mop up stage. Forty-seven of the fires were in the coastal area, which includes Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

In total 1,411 fires have been reported in the province, including 709 caused by lightning and 702 caused by people.

So far we are ahead of last year’s total of 1,266 fires, including 479 set by lightning and 787 by people. The average is approximately 2,500 fires per season.

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