Some Delta’s parks are closing to the public due to the extreme risk of fire.
The hot and dry conditions, combined with the lack of provincial fire fighting resources, means the Corporation of Delta is looking to minimize fire risk by closing five of its parks starting Wednesday, Aug. 2, at 5 p.m.
The affected parks are:
- Cougar Canyon Nature Reserve, 11300-block of 72 Ave., North Delta
- Delta Nature Reserve, 8000 Nordel Way, North Delta
- Watershed Park, 11600 Kittson Parkway, North Delta
- Boundary Bay Park Reserve, 35 66th St., Tsawwassen
- North 40 Park Reserve, North of Churchill St., Ladner
“North Delta, we’ve lived through this many times before. This is not a new thing,” said Delta Mayor Lois Jackson. Last year, the municipality also closed the parks due to fire warnings.
In and email sent to the North Delta Reporter, Burns Bog Conservation Society president Eliza Olsen wrote that the lack of people in the parks could potentially contribute to more fires.
“Based on past experience, Metro Vancouver does not close its parks because they feel that there is greater danger with unlawful visitors going into the parks,” Olson wrote. “Since one of the reasons for the closure is a shortage of fire fighters, I wonder what will happen this time if there is a fire in the Delta Nature Reserve or Watershed?”
Jackson said that the people living on the ridge above Burns Bog are the community’s “best eyes.”
“Anybody sees one puff of smoke, call right away,” she said. “The sooner we can get at something the better.”
Closed parks will be patrolled by Delta’s police department, fire department, Delta parks and bylaw staff to ensure no unauthorized activities are taking place. Violators will be charged with trepassing and fined $200.
Delta is currently under an open burning ban and an open cooking ban. Smoking in Delta’s parks and open spaces is prohibited year-round. People visiting parks not currently included in the closure are asked to use caution and obey posted fire signs.
The affected parks will remain closed until the Delta fire chief lowers the fire rating. Park closures are subject to change, and updates can be found on Delta’s website.