No room for carelessness or risky activities even with rain and cooler temperatures in the forecast
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is asking all residents and visitors to use common sense and be on high alert to protect our community from the threat of wildfires after several close calls in the community and a nearby wildfire.
The Fire Danger Rating within Whistler and the surrounding area is currently Extreme. Without exception, no one should:
- Light a fire of any kind, or any size, in any location.
- Dispose of cigarettes or joints on the ground.
- Toss cigarette butts or joints from a vehicle.
- Take extreme care with any activity. Even at home or in your backyard, a lantern or candle left unattended can start a fire that can quickly spread to surrounding trees and threaten an entire neighbourhood.
- Avoid any activity that could create a spark or ignite a fire such as parking a vehicle on dry grass or shrubs.
- Immediately report any smoke or fire to 9-1-1 or *5555 on a cellphone outside of municipal boundaries.
“It seems obvious, but even just one moment of carelessness right now could cause a wildfire that could cause catastrophic damage to our community,” said John McKearney, Whistler’s Fire Chief. “Our forests are so dry right now that even rain and cooler temperatures in the forecast this weekend will not significantly reduce the risk. If you see a fire, or someone engaging in a risky activity, call 9-1-1. Our firefighters will be happy to explain to them how their carelessness is putting everyone in danger.”
On Monday, August 3, the Whistler Fire Service responded to a fire at the Lost Lake Frisbee golf course after a report of a grass fire. Fortunately, standers-by had enough water in water bottles to douse the flames otherwise the fire could have quickly spread throughout Lost Lake Park and to nearby neighbourhoods. The cause of the fire has not been confirmed.
Just outside of Whistler in the Squamish Lillooet Regional District, the Chance Creek Fire near Cloudburst Mountain west of Daisy Lake has grown from two to seven hectares since Monday, August 3, according to the BC Wildfire Service. While the fire is not considered a risk to the municipality at this time, the BC Wildfire Service says the fire is human-caused.
For current wildfire status in B.C. including the area surrounding Whistler, visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status
“Get prepared. Everyone should be signed up for Whistler’s emergency notification system, including visitors,” said Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton. “Emergency planning is the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s highest priority right now but we need all residents and visitors to prepare themselves by knowing how to find information during an emergency and to have a personal emergency plan in place.”
Signing up for Whistler Alert only takes a couple of minutes. Visit www.whistler.ca/whistleralert. Visitors can choose the dates of their stay to receive emergency notifications while they are in town. When signing up, individuals can choose to receive notifications by text, email, phone or all three notification methods.
Whistler has comprehensive emergency planning and preparation tools for residents at www.whistler.ca/emergency. Whistler’s evacuation planning brochure is available at Whistler Municipal Hall and the Whistler Public Library.