Fog Zone no longer exempt from fire prohibitions
The area of Vancouver Island known as the "Fog Zone" will no longer be exempt from open fire prohibitions
The 2 km wide strip of land along the outer coast of Vancouver Island between Port Renfre and Port Hardy has been exempted from fire prohibitions in the past, allowing people in that area to have campfires or Category 2 open burns while prohibitions were implemented elsewhere on the island.
However, after the 2018 fire season, First Nations, parks staff, and local governments worked BC Wildfire Service to review the area. Coastal Fire Centre's Communications Assistant, Dorthe Jakobsen, says together they decided to put the Fog Zone in local hands.
"The local governments have put in place their own burning bylaws. So the control over the area between Port Renfrew and Tofino is now in local own hands, along with BC Parks [who] have instituted a very effective permitting process. So the control over that area is in local hands."
Jakobsen says having local governments create their own regulations for fires will be beneficial, because even though the BC Wildfire Service sends out their warnings and prohibitions during the fire season, local bylaws hold a precedent over provincial regulations.
She adds that the new rules and regulations may cause some confusion for visitors to the area, like campers who want to have a fire at the end of a day of hiking. Jakobsen says everyone should familiarize themselves with local bylaws when visiting a place, and the visitors centres, provincial parks, and other tourist hubs will be able to provide that information.