Beginning Thursday, the Coastal Fire Centre is implementing a campfire ban just in time for the BC Day long weekend, thanks to a combination of July’s hot, dry weather and potential severe storms.
Marg Drysdale, fire information officer for the Coastal Fire Centre, said the ban covers the entire Coastal Fire Centre jurisdiction, with the exception of the Queen Charlotte Islands.
“There fire danger is currently high, with large areas of extreme,” she explained. “There is the likelihood for thundershowers for the next few days and potential for dry lightening. We don’t need fire starts from human-caused fires if we need to allocate resources from those fires.”
There are 37 wildfires burning on Vancouver Island, and the fire danger rating in the Comox Valley is high, Drysdale added.
Unlike cities to the south such as Victoria and Vancouver, the lack of precipitation and dry conditions is not quite enough to topple any long-standing Comox Valley weather records.
“There have been a couple days of rainfall (in July),” explained Environment Canada meteorologist David Jones. “The north part of the Island got clipped with a couple of systems, but there has been very little rain.”
Jones noted this month, there have been two days — July 11 and 17 — where the Valley did see some precipitation — a total of 2.2 mm.
Those few millimetres did take away the opportunity to have a completely dry July, with the last one occurring in 1985.
Although it has been warm and dry, Jones said there is nothing too unusual about the weather.
“It’s usually a spectacular summer month. People tend to forget that we usually have a dry summer in July.”
To the south, Jones added both Victoria and Vancouver are on track to set records, for hours of sunshine (which is not recorded at the Comox weather station) and days without precipitation.
The record in Vancouver is 58 days, and Vancouver sits at 34 days. Jones added although it may not break the overall record, the current streak in the city cracks the top 10.
The city did break a record for all-time sunniest month and most sunshine hours in July along with Victoria.
Jones noted although the week began dry and warm, he expects the weather pattern to change Friday and into the weekend for the entire South Coast of B.C.
“It looks like the dry streak is ending. There is a low-pressure system settling up on shore,” he said. “It’s looking like on Sunday and Monday, there is a good chance of rain.”
Fore more information on the campfire ban or the fire danger rating, visit bcwildfire.ca.