British Columbia

Delta, Port Moody, West Vancouver ban barbecues, campfires in parks

"Really, you could drop a cigarette or a spark from a power tool could actually start a fire," said Port Moody Fire Chief

Dry conditions 'unprecedented' for this time of year, says Port Moody Fire Chief

Delta and Port Moody have both banned barbecues and campfires in local parks. (Port Moody Fire/Twitter)

Three Lower Mainland municipalities are under an extreme fire risk, banning campfires and barbecues in local parks.

Port Moody and Delta have joined West Vancouver, the first municipality to raise their forest fire danger rating this week due to continuing hot, dry weather.

"It's kind of unprecedented for this time of year," said Gord Parker, the deputy chief of Port Moody Fire Rescue.

"Normally we see some some nice weather but usually it's followed by periods of rain."

The extreme fire risk warning means fuels are currently very receptive to an easy ignition, with dry grasses acting as kindling for any spark.

"Really, you could drop a cigarette or a spark from a power tool could actually start a fire," said Parker.

The campfire and barbecue ban is in effect for all local parks, except the Metro Vancouver-controlled fire pits on Deas Island Park and Boundary Bay. There's also a ban on an tiki torches or sky lanterns.

Smoking is also prohibited in Delta parks.

Dry conditions that have sparked the bans aren't usually seen in B.C. until the end of July, August or even September, says Parker, adding it's dry pretty much everywhere in the province.

For those still eager to enjoy their backyard barbecues he has some advice:

  • Clean your BBQ to avoid a grease fire. 
  • Propane BBQs should have tight fittings to avoid leaks as a tiny spark could easily ignite the propane and surrounding patio furniture.
  • Place BBQ away from any combustibles.

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