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Campfires banned on Savary Island

Negligence over long weekend prompts additional fire restrictions

Savary Island fire chief Chris Philpott has upgraded island-wide fire restrictions to include a ban on any campfires.

With no rain and predictions of northwesterly winds in the forecast, all outdoor fires are prohibited on Savary for the time being, according to a qathet Regional District media release. The fire chief is authorized by the regional district’s Savary Island Outdoor Fire Control Bylaw No. 549 to set prohibitions at any time of year based on weather conditions.

“The Savary Island Volunteer Fire Department responded to three fires on Sunday [May 21] night,” stated qRD manager of emergency services Ryan Thoms.

One unattended fire was located underneath the wharf approach. Nearby residents acted quickly to extinguish the fire with buckets of seawater to prevent the fire spreading to nearby dry beach grass and driftwood, the release stated.

On Monday morning, the wharfinger found burnt papers inside the wharf shed while cleaning up refuse left by party-goers on Sunday night.

“These fires are especially concerning given their proximity to critical public infrastructure, and both have been reported to the RCMP,” stated Thoms.

The public is reminded that there is a maximum penalty of $2,000 for contraventions of the fire ban. Savary Island Volunteer Fire Department (SIVRD) is authorized to enforce the bylaw and receives regular support from the RCMP.

“Over the long weekend there were several instances of campfire negligence and unsafe fire use that, in combination with dry weather conditions, necessitated additional fire restrictions,” stated Philpott. “If you have any information about these fires, please contact me directly at [email protected].”