Campfires still prohibited in Ucluelet

Ucluelet remains under a campfire ban despite the recent removal of the fog zone from the current BC-wide campfire ban.

The province removed the fog zone—a roughly two-kilometre stretch of Vancouver Island’s coastline that includes Ucluelet and Tofino—from its campfire ban on July 14.

Tofino and the Pacific Rim National Park followed the province’s lead and lifted their respective campfire bans but Ucluelet has decided to keep its ban in place.

“It’s applying everywhere within that fog zone and it would apply within our jurisdiction however we’re choosing at this time, as a local government, based on our fire prevention bylaw…to continue on with the campfire ban in Ucluelet’s municipal boundary,” Ucluelet’s manager of environmental and emergency services Karla Robison told the Westerly News. 

“Essentially, the district of Ucluelet is taking a precautionary step to ensure that we’re not going to cause any human made fires and that’s going to ultimately protect public safety and it’s also going to ensure that our resources are ready to go if there is a natural or human made fire.”

Locals are visitors are being asked to help prevent potential fires by being careful with their cigarettes, as well as their motorized vehicles and machinery.

Reemphasizing a comment she made to the Westerly regarding the recent wildland fire in Ucluelet, Robison said one small ember can create a significant blaze.

“It’s extremely dry and the little bit of rain that we had last week wasn’t sufficient to moisten those forest fuels enough,” she said.

“It really just takes that one ember, just one tiny ember, which can smolder away, get into root systems, travel underground and spread. Winds can also help to spread fires.”

She said the decision to keep Ucluelet’s campfire ban in place was agreed upon by district staff as well as the Ucluelet Volunteer Fire Brigade.

 â€œThere’s consensus made that we want to continue with the fire ban in Ucluelet to ensure that residents and visitors are safeguarded from any wildfire events and that our resources are maintained,” she said.

 â€œUntil we get a good rainfall, we will carry on with the fire ban.”

Anyone looking for more information about Ucluelet’s campfire ban is encouraged to visit the district’s website at www.ucluelet.ca.

Posters explaining the ban have been spread throughout town and a bulletin board at the Ucluelet Fire Hall will be frequently updated with new information, according to Robison. 

“The most up to date information bulletins are on there,” she said.

Information can also be found on the BC Wildfire website.

Andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca