Metro Parks remain open as fire risk rises to extreme

Parks in Langley are open and will likely remain that way, say officials.

Metro Vancouver parks in Langley have moved from high to extreme fire danger, but aren’t expected to close to the public.

In fact, having people in parks and on the trails will help keep them safer, said Doug Petersen, supervisor of park operations for Metro Vancouver’s east area.

“Most of the sightings and situations are reported by the public,” said Petersen. Having people in the parks means a quicker response if there is a fire.

The high-level fire risk will mean changes to park operations.

Staff will be halting “high risk” activities, anything that could case a spark. That includes most weed eating and mowing, and using large tractors.

Any work that does continue, including construction, will require fire mitigation plans signed off by the local fire department.

Visitors will be banned from heading off designated trails in Metro Vancouver parks, Petersen said.

That will put some areas completely out of reach, including the peat bog areas of Derby Reach Regional Park in northern Langley.

There have been fires in the bog in the past, and the parks department has no desire to see another one.

“Once it gets in the peat, it gets very challenging to get under control,” Petersen said.

There are also no smoking signs posted prominently by the start of most trails or parking lots. Fire pits are now completely banned, with pits in camping areas like Brae Island each marked individually with signs.

So far, things have gone well as far as preventing fires in Metro parks. Petersen said that since March there have only been four incidents.

There are no reports of people igoring signs and starting fires in pits or on the banks of the Fraser River, Petersen said.

“People understand the risks,” he said.

If there are ever park closures, they won’t be system-wide, said Sarah Lusk, a spokesperson for Metro Vancouver.

“It would be done on a case by case basis,” she said.

“We generally follow what local municipalities and fire chiefs advise us to do,” Lusk said.

Neither Langley Township nor City have any immediate plans to close parks, according to spokespeople for those municipalities.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Not a joke’: Promoter wants to rocket-launch man the length of White Rock pier

Brooke Colby says he’s building an eight-foot rocket in his backyard

Missing North Delta senior found deceased

88-year-old Jarnail Sanghera had been missing since the morning of Friday, May 15

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Dry-grad cancelled, Elgin Park students make donation to food bank

Students donate $1,800 to food bank after being forced to cancel graduation event

Prospera Credit Union, Westminster Savings lay off over 100 staff following historic merge

2020 merger was largest credit-union merger in Canadian history

VIDEO: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Boy, 2, left with ‘soft tissue injuries’ after being hit by car in Squamish intersection

Boy was release from hospital, police continue to investigate

Most Read