The Corporation of Delta has made the decision to close five of its parks due to the extreme fire danger in the region.
Mayor Lois Jackson and Chief Administrative Officer George Harvie have also put the Emergency Operations Centre on standby in the event a fire does break out.
The extreme fire danger rating means fires will start easily, spread rapidly and challenge suppression efforts.
While there is an open burning ban in effect for all areas of Delta, including an open cooking ban (propane and briquette BBQs) and a smoking ban in all Delta parks, officials are hoping to minimize any further risk by closing the parks completely.
The following parks are now temporarily closed:
- Boundary Bay Park Reserve, 35 – 66 St, Tsawwassen
- Cougar Canyon Nature Reserve, 11300 Block of 72 Avenue, North Delta
- Delta Nature Reserve, 8000 Nordel Way, North Delta
- North 40 Park Reserve, North of Churchill Street, Ladner
- Watershed Park, 11600 Kittson Parkway, North Delta
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In a statement on its website, the Corporation of Delta says while it understands these closures are an inconvenience to residents, businesses and visitors, it is important to make fire safety a top priority to protect the parks and wilderness areas.
Delta Fire, Delta Police, the Corporation of Delta’s Park Patrols and bylaw staff are actively patrolling parks, beaches and Burns Bog access points to ensure no unauthorized activities are taking place. Violators who fail to comply with the park closures and bans will be charged with trespassing, which carries a fine of $200.
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They are asking everyone to report all fires to 911 and any unauthorized activities, such as smoking or campfires, to Delta Police Department’s non-emergency line at 604-946-4411.
Here are some tips to help stop fires before they start:
- Do not discard smoking materials from vehicles; use vehicle interior ashtrays
- Do not dispose of cigarette butts in flower beds or bark mulch beds
- Use large, deep, non-tip ashtrays to prevent ashes from falling onto combustible materials
- Allow lawn and farm equipment to cool before storing away
- Exercise caution with All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), which produce a tremendous amount of heat and can ignite brush from their exhaust system
- Be aware of all spark and fire sources
- Campfires and propane and briquette BBQs are prohibited everywhere
- Be cautious around fire in windy conditions