Dry conditions bring high risk: Oak Bay fire

Signs posted at Uplands Park warn park users to be cautious

Oak Bay Fire Capt. Rob Kivell

Oak Bay Fire Capt. Rob Kivell

Oak Bay firefighters warn residents and visitors to be diligent in their fire prevention measures with the extra dry conditions.

Oak Bay fire has posted signs in the district’s parks and public spaces warning of the fire hazard, said Capt. Rob Kivell, Oak Bay’s fire prevention officer.

“The unseasonably dry spring has increased the risk in our local parks and public spaces with regard to fire risk,” Kivell said.

“Without any significant precipitation in the forecast, it is expected that the grass and foliage in our urban forests and parks will continue to dry.”

The fire rating from the Coastal Fire Centre for Oak Bay is now at a high hazard rating, meaning forest fuels are very dry and the fire risk is serious.

New fires may start easily, burn vigorously and challenge fire suppression efforts.

The signs serve to both warn and educate the public of the current fire danger, Kivell said.

“We encourage residents and visitors to be cautious with smoking materials and dispose of them in an appropriate manner when in the outdoors.”

And it’s not only cigarettes that can cause a risk.

“Anything can start a wildfire – it can even be a piece of glass,” Kivell said.

While people may assume the few days of cooler weather and rain have made a difference, it’s not the case, Kivell said. “It’s not enough.

“You get a false sense of security when you have a rain like that.”

Fortunately, while Uplands Park is a natural space, a water supply is available should a wildfire start.

In addition to being careful with flammable materials in parks and public greenspaces, residents can also take steps around their own property to minimize the risk.

“Make sure you have water available in case there’s a fire that’s close to you,” Kivell said.

It’s also a good idea to keep plants and shrubs well-kept and even if you let grass go dormant, make sure it’s short.”

Other suggestions from FireSmart Canada include:

• Planting fire-resistant plants that don’t readily ignite from flame or other ignition sources.

These can be damaged or killed by fire but their foliage and stems do not significantly contribute to the fuel and fire intensity.

These plants would have moist, supple leaves; little dead wood and tendency not to accumulate dead material; water-like sap with little or no odour; sap or resin material.

• Conversely, highly flammable plant would have fine, dry, dead material within the plant, stems, branches and leaves containing volatile waxes, terpenes or oils; aromatic leaves; gummy resinous sap with a strong odour; and loose, papery bark.

• Bark mulch and other plant-based mulches offer benefits to gardens but are susceptible to ignition from wildfire embers or cigarettes. When landscaping against your home, consider using gravel mulch, rock mulch, or a combination of plant mulch and decorative rock mulch to reduce the risk.

For more information, visit firesmartcanada.ca

To report smoke or fires, contact the Oak Bay Fire Department emergency line at 9-1-1.

For questions or information about making your home and property more fire-safe, call the non-emergency line at 250-592-9121.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A single-vehicle collision involving a driver who struck the median on McKenzie Avenue at Carey Road interrupted morning traffic on Jan. 21. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Single-vehicle crash interrupts morning traffic in Saanich

Incident was minor, no significant injuries reported, firefighter says

Ron MacDonnell leans over the railing on Beacon Wharf Tuesday afternoon. The Town of City is currently looking into the future of the aging structure. It could make way for a concrete pontoon once part of the floating bridge over Hood Canal in Washington State. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney explores public-private partnership for iconic Beacon Wharf

Wharf committee recommends town invite pontoon company to submit proposal

Victoria police are seeking home surveillance video and witnesses following a prowling incident in Esquimalt Jan. 20. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt prowler removes air conditioner, peers into person’s home

VicPD is seeking video footage, witnesses following Jan. 20 incident

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(File)
Man allegedly bites Vancouver cop during arrest for outstanding warrant

The officer was treated in hospital for the bite wounds

(File Photo)
Interior Health says COVID positivity rates in Fernie area actually 10-12%

IH say the rates are not as high as previously claimed by the region’s top doctor

Black bear cubs Athena and Jordan look on from their enclosure at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, B.C., on July 8, 2015. Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant won the hearts of animal lovers when he opted not to shoot the baby bears in July after their mother was destroyed for repeatedly raiding homes near Port Hardy, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Supreme Court quashes review of B.C. conservation officer who refused to euthanize bears

Bryce Casavant was dismissed from his job for choosing not to shoot the cubs in 2015

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier, health officials to discuss next steps in COVID immunization plan

Nearly 31,000 doses of vaccine the province expected by Jan. 29 could be curtailed due to production issues

Homalco First Nation said that it will intervene in the judicial review sought by aquaculture companies with regards to federal decision to phase out 19 Discovery Island fish farms by 2022. In this picture from Sept. 24, a demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver.(Quinn Bender photo)
Chief says push for fish farm judicial review a challenge to reconciliation, Aboriginal Rights

Homalco First Nation chief reacts to Mowi and Cermaq intervention in Discovery Island decision

Most Read