A strip of Vancouver Island that has often been exempt from fire bans during B.C. summers is losing its special status.
The so-called “fog zone” covers a two-kilometre strip of land along the outer coast of Vancouver Island from Port Renfrew to Port Hardy.
Campfires and Category 2 burns have sometimes been permitted in the zone even when banned elsewhere on the island because of a moist band of fog that frequently rolls in, lowering the risk of wildfires.
WATCH: Forestry experts call for more controlled burning in B.C. to reduce risk of wildfire
The province says that in the wake of the 2018 wildfire season, it has reviewed the fog zone policy with First Nations, parks staff and local governments and will no longer be offering exemptions.
“The review concluded that many reasons why the fog zone exemption was initially established were no longer relevant,” states a Ministry of Forests media release.
“For example, the communities of Bamfield, Ucluelet and Tofino now all have open burning bylaws, and Pacific Rim National Park has an effective permit system in place governing campfires.”
The B.C. Wildfire Service says it has recorded 23 wildfires so far in the 2019 season, two of them in the Coastal Fire Centre.
More information on fire bans and restrictions in B.C. can be found on the B.C. Wildfire Service’s website.