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Fire worries extend to Vancouver amid prolonged hot, dry weather

Click to play video: 'Most of province remains under high to extreme danger' Most of province remains under high to extreme danger
The explosive situation continues, with lightning to blame for many of the seventy new fires sparked in the last twenty-four hours. Kristen Robinson brings you the latest on the wildfires burning across the province. – Jul 3, 2021

As crews work to battle out-of-control wildfires in many regions of British Columbia, Vancouver firefighters are warning the public that conditions in the city are also ripe for disaster.

“Conditions across Vancouver rare exceedingly dry right now. We’ve had a spring without much precipitation and we’ve had historically high temperatures for what seems like months on end — including that extremely hot week last week,” said Capt. Jonathan Gormick with Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services.

Read more: Forensic team arrives in Lytton, B.C.; investigation into deadly wildfire gears up

The fire danger rating in the city sat at “high” on Saturday, and Gormick said firefighters were worried about the risk from a variety of sources, ranging from generators to barbecues.

However, he said one potential source of ignition had crews particularly worried.

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“The most common cause, and almost the exclusive cause, of fires in the city of Vancouver is improperly discarded smoking material,” he said.

“The (cigarette) butt heats up the surrounding vegetation and then 10 to 20 minutes later is typically when we start to get smouldering fires we’re called to. So the person who tossed it is long gone by then.”

Read more: How to prepare for a wildfire evacuation and what to do if one happens

The public is being reminded that smoking is banned in city parks, and that any smoking material should be disposed of in a proper receptacle or portable ashtray.

Throwing a cigarette butt from a vehicle or smoking in a park is punishable by a $500 fine.

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