The Village of Cache Creek has issued a notice stating that all open fires, including campfires, are prohibited in the Village as of May 30, 2018. The ban will remain in effect until further notice.
“We’ve had bans before, usually after the Kamloops Fire Centre issues a ban,” says Cache Creek Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tom Moe. “But this year we’re doing it before them.”
The ban has been put into effect to protect public safety, and to limit the risk of person-caused wildfires. Moe says that it extends to all land within the Cache Creek fire boundary, including the Campbell Hill airport and properties in Coyote Valley near Boston Flats, and means no open fires or any fires that burn wood: “Anything to do with burning wood or that lets off sparks.”
The prohibition does not restrict fires in stoves or burning apparatus that use gas, propane, or briquettes.
Moe says he took the step of issuing the ban after consulting with senior Village staff. As Fire Chief he is able to enact such a ban, and says there is a very good possibility that it will be in force throughout the summer.
“It’s supposed to be a really hot summer, and a worse fire season than last year,” he notes. “The trees haven’t soaked up enough moisture, and there’s so much dead stuff out there. It’s really scary.”
Predictions from weather forecasters confirm his outlook. Preliminary forecasts from federal government scientists with The Canadian Wildland Fire Information System indicate that the southern half of British Columbia will be more vulnerable than normal to wildfires in June, July, and August of 2018. Large parts of the province were already extremely dry at the start of winter, and have not received enough rain and snow to moisten the deeper layers of the forest floor.
Above-normal potential for fire does not necessarily mean more fires, particularly if there is little lightning and people are careful about not inadvertently causing fires. Enacting a fire ban is a proactive step in reducing risk.
“People have been pretty supportive of the fire ban,” says Moe. “I haven’t heard any complaints. People are stressed after last year, and I think this might put them at ease a bit.”