Fire season nears in Alberni

Fire season has arrived early in the Alberni Valley, Port Alberni Fire Chief Tim Pley said.

Fire season has arrived early in the Alberni Valley, Port Alberni Fire Chief Tim Pley said.

The Provincial Wildfire Branch is banning all open burning in all areas of the Coastal Fire Centre region, a news release said.

“We’ve been talking to the Provincial Wildfire Branch and they say they are seeing conditions now that we don’t normally see until August,” Pley told city councillors on July 14. “Fire fuels are really dry right now so they’re gearing up for fire season.”

The provincial fire hazard rating is listed as high and not extremely high.

The coastal region could be a hot spot in the province in the weeks to come. A July 11 notice on the wildfire management branch webpage reports that coastal forests are drying quickly. Every hot and dry day is resulting in fuels that are easier to ignite.

The city has its own outdoor burning bylaw that supersedes provincial wildfire outdoor burning regulations, Pley said.

But the city follows the province’s lead when it comes to burn bans. “We do that to maintain consistency and because of the fact that they are the experts on outdoor fires,” Pley said.

Pley said one issue being planned for now is if the province pulls its firefighting assets from the Alberni Valley to assist with other fires.

“This happens in some years and when it does government looks at municipal fire service resources,” he said. “We could be called into action to respond to a wildfire or support fighting one.”

Train to run despite heat

The Island Corridor Foundation has closed the Port Alberni Sub due to the high fire hazard, but that doesn’t include the track between the Port Alberni Train Station and McLean Mill, mill manager Neil Malbon said.

“We’re doing fire patrols and hauling a water car behind the train,” Malbon said. Crews follow the train in a high-railer or speeder looking for sparks that might have ignited dry brush beside the tracks.

The closure begins past Smith Road up to Loon Lake and beyond, he said. “We have a lot of guys doing work on the rails and (the ban) applies to them. They don’t have the same firefighting tools as the train.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

With files from Susan Quinn

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

 

Just Posted

Lack of security: why Vancouver Island food production is on the decline

Big Read: agriculture a big, expensive commitment as advocates push to make us more food secure

Port Alberni campground featured in BC Ferries Vacations

China Creek Campground in the Alberni Valley will be highlighted as part… Continue reading

City of Port Alberni puts money into park improvements

Roger Creek, Blair parks receiving upgrades this spring, summer

City of Port Alberni ponders social development

Social planning commission would outlast councils

UPDATED: Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations ready to negotiate for fishing rights

Nations call on federal gov’t to settle fishing rights ‘within the true meaning of reconciliation’

VIDEO: Moose found licking salt off B.C. man’s pickup truck

Tab Baker was in his garage in Prince George when the small moose gave his truck a clean

New spill response bases on hold as pipeline paused

Future of six new bases, 125 jobs, on Vancouver Island in limbo over Kinder Morgan decision

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

B.C. parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

16 of 20 fastest improving B.C. schools are public: Fraser Institute

Independent elementary schools remain at top of the chart in think tank’s annual report card

UPDATED: 1 person dead after highway crash in Nanoose Bay

Accident happened just before 4 p.m. near Hillview Road

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

Pulp mill fined $900,000 for leaking effluent into B.C. lake

Mackenzie Pulp Mill pleaded guilty to depositing deleterious substance into water frequented by fish

Most Read