A hotter, drier summer combined with over 870 hectares (2,150 acres) of park lands, makes Richmond extremely vulnerable to fires.
The City and Richmond Fire Rescue are urging residents and businesses to be extra vigilant and more mindful of actions that may increase the risk of fire in our community.
There has been a significant jump in brush and grass fires alone in Richmond this season, with almost a dozen reported over the past week. While the cause is not always immediately known, most – if not all – were preventable. Richmond, like most areas in British Columbia, has a fire rating of Extreme Danger. While our parks and trails remain open, the high volume of recent brush and grass fires has led to a complete ban on barbeques or stoves of any type in City parks or at beaches.
People are also reminded, once again, not to discard smoking butts from vehicles, on sidewalks or in bins – even if you think they have been extinguished. Put all cigarette butts and ashes in sand or water before you throw them out. Incorrectly discarding a cigarette or other smoking butt can be result in a $200 fine.
Not complying with the current fire bans and restrictions may result in a $250 to $10,000 fine.
The extended heat and related drought conditions are also a concern for water resources. While Richmond has numerous initiatives in place such as residential water metres and program rebates, it is encouraging residents and visitors to think twice before turning on the tap. The City currently remains on Stage One watering restrictions until October 15, but that could change as the warm weather and drought conditions continue. Metro Vancouver is reporting a 21 per cent increase in water use compared to the same period last year. Residents are reminded that only even-numbered addresses may water lawns on Saturday mornings with automatic watering from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. and manual watering from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Odd-numbered addresses may water lawns on Sunday mornings with automatic watering from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. and manual watering from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.