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Summer heat drying out forests in B.C.

Last Updated Jul 26, 2020 at 12:06 pm PST

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VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — While the long-awaited sun has finally hit the south coast, the warm weather is also increasing the risk of forest fires.

Areas along Vancouver Island from Victoria up to Nanaimo are now in the high-danger zone — a sharp rise in the danger rating from just a week or two ago.

“Whether it reaches extreme or not, we don’t know at this point. But we are looking at some unseasonably warm temperatures,” Marg Drysdale with the Coastal Fire Center says.

Campfire bans usually come into effect when the danger hits the extreme level, but Drysdale says they haven’t reached that point yet.

“If you are going to have a campfire, please remember the rules. Make sure, absolutely sure, you put it out when you leave the site,” she says.

“More than anything, we see abandoned campfires. So we are asking people if you light a campfire, you are responsible for it. And that includes putting it out at the end of your trip.”

Environment Canada warns temperatures Sunday and Monday will be above 30 degrees in the Lower Mainland, Sea to Sky region and Vancouver Island.

It’s even more intense in the Interior, with peaks in the mid- to upper-30s forecast into Tuesday or Wednesday.

– With files from The Canadian Press