The start of the Victoria Day long-weekend had park goers lined up to enter Golden Ears park, but once the inclement weather rolled in attendance at the park faded.
On Saturday, the busiest day of the three day long weekend, 3,800 vehicles entered Golden Ears Provincial Park and 1,500 headed to Rolley Lake Provincial Park.
However, Stu Burgess, operations manager for both parks said, due to overcast and rainy weather, there was only moderate attendance at the park on Sunday and low attendance on Monday.
The sunnier weekend before saw about 7,500 vehicles enter Golden Ears park and almost 2,000 entered Rolley Lake park, noted Burgess.
Campgrounds were full at both parks this weekend, and there were no first-come first-serve.
Day passes are currently not required to visit the park but that may chang.
Just ahead of the long weekend, Katrine Conroy, B.C.’s minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, put out a notice urging people to be cautious with open flames in parks.
From April 1 to May 19, 214 wildfires have burned about 2,147 hectares of land in the province. And, according to the ministry, of those fires, 168, or about 79 per cent, were caused by people.
Burgess noted that the fire danger rating in both Golden Ears and Rolley Lake parks was low entering the weekend, but he has already had to warn a few campers that their fire was too large earlier in the year.
Campfires must not be larger than 0.5 metres high or 0.5 metres wide, according to ministry guidelines.
Other fire safety tips from the ministry include:
• Never light a campfire or keep it burning in windy conditions. Weather can change quickly, and wind may carry embers to other combustible material.
• Maintain a fireguard around your campfire. This is a fuel-free area where all flammable materials, including grass, leaves, kindling, etc.) have been removed right down to the soil.
• Never leave a campfire unattended.
• Have a shovel or at least eight litres of water available to properly extinguish the campfire.
• Make sure the ashes are cool to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.
Burgess said the weekend went relatively smoothly, adding that there were just a few instances of lack of social distancing.
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