Fire ban remains in effect with dry weather continuing into weekend


A forest fire in the North Island is to blame for a slight haze hanging over the Comox Valley for the past few days, as the Nimpkish River fire grows to more than 170 hectares.

With no rain forecasted for this week and a mix of sun and clouds until Sunday, the Coastal Fire Centre is reminding people a campfire ban remains in place.

Although the Nimpkish fire is the only significant fire currently burning on the Island, Jessica Poustie, fire information officer for the Coastal Fire Centre in Parksville said soils are far too dry to lift the ban.

“There are some scattered showers in the forecast (for the North Island), but the North Island still remains very dry.”

Poustie explained crews dropped retardant last week, but “the fire has grown quite a bit in size” and the terrain is too steep for crews to get to the centre of the fire.

She added there have been smoke reports as far north as Port McNeill, and encourages residents to visit for up-to-date air quality readings for the area.

Wednesday, the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) for the Comox Valley was set at 1, or a low health risk, with the maximum AQHI forecast of 2 for Thursday.

According to Environment Canada, the high for today is 21C with a mix of sun and clouds. The temperatures are forecast to rise Friday through Sunday up to 26C with mostly sunny skies.