You may have heard of Vancouver’s Fog Zone, and if you are living in or planning to move to Sooke, you might be wondering, is Sooke in the Fog Zone?
First off, if you are not familiar with the Fog Zone (also called the West Coast Fog Zone), it is a two-kilometre wide band of land that runs along the west and north-western parts of Vancouver Island. It runs from Owen Point near Renfrew and makes its way to Port Hardy’s district boundary.
What is the Purpose of the Fog Zone?
Back in 2009, the Coastal Fire Centre decided that they would delineate the area now know as the Fog Zone. This area is one that has been recognized as having its own distinct climate, specifically a marine climate. This designation was decided upon after reviewing the area’s fuel types, common weather patterns, and more.
The reason behind giving this area its own designation was to allow it to be more clearly identified on maps, as well as to allow it to be legally defined so that the area can be easily included or excluded when prohibitions are put into effect, as circumstances dictate. It is also now more easily described to the public. A map is available here.
Before the creation of the Fog Zone, there was no distinction between different areas and climates, so the prohibition of campfires within forest district boundaries meant that they were prohibited in all areas equally. The area now known as the Fog Zone, however, is one that is routinely bathed in sea fog. It is also prone to showers throughout the months of summer and spring. This has created an ecosystem that is distinct from other areas.
Given that the area of the Fog Zone is subject to fog and frequent showers, it is considerably wetter than surrounding areas. As a result, it is considered to be at lower risk of wildfire, though this does not mean that the area cannot or will not have a prohibition enacted there. In 2015, there was a campfire prohibition enacted that extended into the Fog Zone. In general, though, the Fog Zone is frequently excluded from prohibitions.
For current information on prohibitions, go to: http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp
Is Sooke in the Fog Zone?
Sooke is not part of the Fog Zone, as it lies to the south and the east of where the Fog Zone begins. Consequently, Sooke does maintain a ban on all open air burning and that applies not only to campfires, but also to Tiki torches, backyard fire pits, and beach fires. Propane and gas BBQ s and campfires continue to be acceptable, but only in the appropriate areas, and with all necessary cautions.
This ban is intended to prevent wildfires and human-caused fires to ensure the safety of the public and protect the environment.
Updates on the status of the ban can be found on Sooke’s website, at www.sooke.ca