British Columbia

North Shore residents warned to take extra care as fire risk grows

Hot, dry conditions are raising the risk of forest fires on the North Shore that could spread to homes.

The West Vancouver fire department has put out 10 brush fires in the last week

West Vancouver Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Jeff Bush warned people to be extra vigilant to avoid causing fires during the hot, dry weather. (CBC )

There's a higher risk of forest fires that could spread to homes due to the hot, dry weather, according to West Vancouver Fire & Rescue Service.

The department has put out about 10 brush fires in the past week and most of them started from people discarding cigarettes, Assistant Chief Jeff Bush said.

"Our concern obviously is a fire starting as a result of this and spreading rapidly due to these dry conditions," he said.   

Risk of fires spreading

"The conditions for this time of year are extremely dry," Bush said, adding that makes it easier for fires to start and to spread.

The department has banned charcoal barbecues and smoking in West Vancouver parks. If things get worse they may need to close parks and ban all barbecues.

It is also advising against the use of fireworks next week when people will be celebrating Canada Day.

The dry weather conditions, careless behaviour and the number of homes near forests all raise alarms for the fire department.

"A very, very large fire could affect these residential properties," Bush said. "It's not going to stop at the houses and that is one of our concerns."

"If you do see smoke, or something hazardous call us immediately."  

-With files from Stephanie Mercier

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