Updated: Dec 1, 2023
What is it?
The Fire Danger Rating is provided by BC Wildfire in communities across BC. Using Weather Modeling of temperature and humidity from regional weather stations, the Danger Rating is set daily between 2 and 4 pm as an indicator of the potential for fire to start and develop. Essentially the Danger Rating is an indicator of Fire Risk based on Temperature and Humidity.
What does it mean?
The Fire Danger Rating is used primarily to regulate High-Risk Activities associated with industrial and forest practices but has many crossovers to personal activities such as wood processing (chipping, grinding, milling), road construction, mechanical land clearing, right of way mowing, use of explosives (including fireworks) and spark or flame producing activities such as welding. Activities that present a risk of starting a fire are regulated as the Rating increases. Essentially the rating is an indicator of how easily a fire can start and how quickly it will spread during different seasons.
How does it relate to Open Burning and Campfires?
Fire Spread and Fire Behavior are directly related to Temperature and Humidity. The Danger rating progresses from Low to Extreme as Temperature Rises and Humidity Falls. When Temperatures are high and Humidity is low, fires start easily and spread rapidly, therefore prevention measures increase which means restricting activities or prohibiting them all if necessary.
Galiano Fire Departments and Residents take fire prevention very seriously. Mowing your lawn or using a “weed-eater” is not considered to be a High-Risk Activity as defined by the Wildfire Act, but Galiano Fire Departments consider typical property maintenance activities like lawn mowing or chainsaw use to carry some risk of starting a fire due to the simple fact that we live in a dry forest during the summer.
Historically Galiano Fire Departments have prohibited Lawn Mowing and Property Maintenance activities during Extreme Conditions and followed the High-Risk Activities restrictions during High Conditions. The recent introduction of Fire Smart helps illustrate that these activities are necessary to reduce the fuel loads present on our properties, and so we have changed our “policy” of banning these activities.
During periods of High and Extreme Fire Danger Rating these activities are permitted but restricted to before 1pm, and a Fire Watch is required for 2 hours after activity ceases. Chain saw use is restricted to emergency use and construction use (on a construction site free of vegetation) only. If at any time weather conditions are such that the risk of fire is severe, the Fire Chief may ask all activity to cease
The Danger Rating and Restrictions
Once you have determined your activity is considered a High-Risk Activity or typical Property Maintenance Activity use the chart below to find out the restrictions on that activity for each Danger Rating.