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Fire danger is now "high" in the Tri-Cities

The scorching heat has prompted Tri-City fire departments to raise their fire danger rating to high.

The scorching heat has prompted Tri-City fire departments to raise their fire danger rating to high.

The regional rating was pushed up to the third level last Friday - one below extreme - as crews dealt with several fires quickened by the dry conditions.

In Port Moody, smoke-eaters have been called out to illegal bonfires and campfires on the north shore, including some set by party-goers in Bert Flinn Park.

Deputy fire chief Gord Parker said if embers land on the dry ground, they can burn down into the fuel pockets and roots, igniting the needles and twigs. "We've had no major problems yet," he said, "but the duff layer is ready to go if there is a fire."

In Port Coquitlam, Chief Nick Delmonico said his team extinguished three brush fires last week. Recently, they put out a "substantial" fire close to the Coquitlam River when a homeless person cooking with propane accidentally set off a blaze.

Coquitlam, which has forested lands to the north, issued an alert last week about the fire risk and advised residents to call 911 if they see smoke or flames in the woods.

Last Tuesday, Coquitlam firefighters doused a small illegal campfire that was reported, Chief Wade Pierlot said. The service is reminding Coquitlam homeowners:

outdoor fires are not allowed in residential backyards, city parks and outdoor areas;

and smoking is banned in all city parks.

jwarren@tricitynews.com