Campfires, beach fires and backyard burnings are no longer allowed in the District of Sooke, due to the fire rating reaching ‘Extreme’ on Tuesday, July 28. (Black Press file photo).

No campfires: Sooke raises fire danger rating to ‘Extreme’

Propane fire rings still allowed

Put your marshmallows back in the cupboard and forget about roasting a hot dog, the District of Sooke has banned campfires, beach fires and backyard burning until further notice.

The fire danger rating within the Sooke area is at extreme. The rating shot up from moderate to high on Friday and to its current level after a sunny weekend that saw a high of 26 C Sunday.

“We’ve been fortunate enough that there hasn’t been a significant fire in Sooke this summer,” said Sooke Deputy Fire Chief Matt Barney.

“But we’re exceptionally dry for this time of the year, as dry as July 2017. If this is what’s leading us into August, then that’s an issue.”

Notably, the 2017 wildfire season in B.C. burned through 1.2 million hectares of land.

Barney said the worst fire they’ve seen so far this year in Greater Victoria had been the Mill Hill fire, which burned through only 1.5 hectares in View Royal and Langford in mid-July. The July 21 fire is believed to be human-caused.

Propane fire rings are still allowed. Anything that creates a spark or is wood-burning isn’t allowed, Barney said. Those caught breaking the bans will receive a fine of $200.

READ MORE: Sooke Fire chief urges caution as the weather heats up

ALSO READ: John Arnett, former Mirror publisher, dies


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