It's so dry and warm in Vancouver that municipal officials have made the decision to close a popular park overnight as a fire prevention measure.
With no rainfall in the city in 45 days, conditions are dry and the fire risk is considered "extreme."
Because of this, the Vancouver Park Board announced Friday that access to Stanley Park will be blocked overnight, in an effort to reduce the risk.
In a statement, the board said all non-essential access to the park will be barred between 10 p.m. – about an hour after the sun sets in Vancouver – and 6 a.m., starting Friday night.
The park will be closed between those hours every night until the risk has been significantly reduced, the board said.
Park rangers will set up overnight access points at five locations as a way to reduce the number of people in the park overnight. Vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians and anyone else who doesn't need to be there will be turned around at these points, the board said.
But some will still be able to pass through the park.
The measures will allow for patrons and staff to get to businesses located within its 405 hectares. Passengers of TransLink's #19 bus will be able to access the route, and emergency services staff will be let through control points.
The Stanley Park Causeway through the park will stay open as well.
Additionally, anyone who stays in the park after the closure is in place will be allowed out through those points.
"The current conditions in Stanley Park are extreme right now and given the size of the park, the risk of a fire breaking out overnight when fewer people may notice it or report it presents a significant threat to the wellbeing of the park, its trees, wildlife, and everyone who relies on the park and its ongoing health," said Director of Park Operations Amit Gandha in a news release.
The seawall will be closed, with signs placed along the access points to advise pedestrians and cyclists. Park rangers will be monitoring the park overnight.
One of the access points is at the traffic circle off Georgia Street. Others are at the corners of Barclay Street and Park Lane, and Beach Avenue and Park Lane.
The remaining two are at the north and south exits of the Stanley Park Causeway.
#StanleyPark will close overnight between 10pm-6am to non-essential access beginning tonight in an effort to reduce fire risk to the park, which is extreme due to current heat and drought conditions. Read more at: https://t.co/CRDaToU6Ez pic.twitter.com/SMYEjAZYh8— Vancouver Park Board (@ParkBoard) July 30, 2021