Campers enjoying the official last long weekend of summer can do so around a fire, with an announcement this week the campfire ban has been rescinded throughout the Coastal Fire Centre, including the Comox Valley.
Effective noon Thursday, campfires will be permitted throughout the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction due to cooler weather in the forecast, which the centre said will result in a decreased wildfire risk in the region.
Both campfires and open fires in an outdoor stove will be allowed, but no larger than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide.
The Coastal Fire Centre covers all of the area west of the height of land on the Coast Mountain Range north of the U.S.-Canada border at Manning Park, including the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii.
Earlier this week, the centre responded to a fire located close to Mount Washington Alpine Resort, at an opening to a mine shaft.
Donna MacPherson, fire information officer for the centre, said the fire — which was human caused — spread into the forest and crews with helicopters helped extinguish it late Sunday evening.
The Nimpkish River fire, which has been burning since last month, has grown to more than 170 hectares in size.
Smoke from that fire along with fires in the Interior of the province created a haze over the Comox Valley within the last week, but with Environment Canada predicting rain in the forecast, the Air Quality Health Index has remained stable in the low risk category throughout the week.
Showers are likely throughout the entire long weekend, with a 70 per cent chance Friday, and 60 per cent Saturday through Monday, with highs reaching 19 C. For more info, visit bcwildfire.ca.