Smoking banned in North Vancouver parks and trails due to forest fire danger

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      With smoke from B.C. forest fires obscuring the sky, the District of North Vancouver has banned smoking and the use of propane or charcoal barbecues in all parks and on all trails in the municipality.

      “The District is rapidly moving towards an ‘extreme’ fire danger rating,” North Vancouver District fire chief Victor Penman said in a news release today (July 7). “With this heat and tinder dry conditions, a fire can start easily and spread very rapidly. Our primary concern is for the safety of the public, residences, and forested areas. I’m asking the public directly to help us avert a tragedy.”

      According to the release, open fires are already prohibited by municipal bylaws on the North Shore.

      The fire chief is asking the public to discard cigarettes safely, stay on trails, and to place garbage and recyclables in the proper receptacles.

      "North Vancouver District covers 160 square kilometers, 77 per cent of which is forested, stretching from Deep Cove to the Capilano River, and from Burrard Inlet north to the mountains. Many residential neighbourhoods border these forested areas and, combined with southern exposure and steep terrain, the potential for a forest or brush fire is very real," the release says.

      An air quality advisory remains in effect for Metro Vancouver due to wildfire smoke.