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Dry weather heightens fire risk

The Indian summer is spelling trouble for the Langley Township fire department, which has cancelled all fire permits.

None will be issued until there is “significant” rainfall, assistant fire chief Pat Walker said on Tuesday.

“The fire hazard is extreme.”

It has been more than 50 days since the last notable rainfall, he added.

Environment Canada is predicting a 30 per cent chance of rain on Friday, and 60 per cent on Monday, while the Weather Network’s 14-day outlook predicts rain on Saturday and none again until the second week of October.

The fire danger rating remains high throughout the municipality, Walker said.

He urged people not to carelessly discard cigarettes, and noted that even a fragment of glass can have catastrophic results when the sun’s rays passing through form a pinpoint that can heat dry grass or foliage.

Walker said that people should be particularly careful in areas where there is high grass, especially on rural properties.

“We are cautioning people to take special precautions with respect to running equipment in fields,” he said.

Langley City’s deputy fire chief Bob Scott said his department is responding to an increasing number of grass and brush fires. He, too, urged people to extinguish cigarettes in non-combustible containers.

And, Scott said, it will take more than a day of rain to reduce the fire hazard. The danger will be over when the grass begins to turn green again, he said.

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