News » Whistler

Fire danger rating elevated to 'high'

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The arrival of summer heat was accompanied by an increase in the fire hazard rating, going up to "Moderate" for the weekend and climbing to "High" on Monday, July 9. As of Wednesday, after three days at High, new restrictions kicked in that continue to affect construction and other work in the forest interface.

Currently, no fires are allowed. That includes campfires and backyard fires to burn debris or for other reasons. Barbecues are still permitted.

If the hazard rating remains High for three consecutive days or moves into Extreme, additional bans could be put into place including barbecues in public parks and a ban on construction activity in the interface.

Under the current ban, the construction activity and blasting within the forest interface — within 10 metres of a wooded area — must cease by 1 p.m. every day, followed by a two-hour fire watch after construction ceases. As well, construction crews are expected to have fire suppression equipment on site and a designated smoking area away from the forest.

If, however, conditions go to Extreme for three days then all work in the interface must stop. Some work can continue — indoor work, use of electrical equipment and hand tools, or small engines and equipment outside of the 10-metre range — but the two-hour fire watch is required.

Despite the elevated rating, there are currently no active fires of note or fires larger than 10 hectares within the entire Coastal Fire Centre, which includes the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and the central coast.

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