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BC fires ramping up, but Island relatively safe—for now

Plus, five places to stop and pick up a cold treat in the Westshore

Good morning!

The heat in BC persists, as the province warns locals to stay alert about fire and drought warnings in their areas. As people try to find ways to cool off in the summer sun, this is the perfect time to grab friends and check out some of the community sweet shops offering a cool treat in the heat. Make sure to stay safe and conserve water as the summer months continue.


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BC fires ramping up, but Island relatively safe—for now

Current BC fire risk levels (red is highest tier)

Last week the federal government granted BC’s request for military help with the Canada-leading 370+ wildfires, which have prompted 70+ evacuations. BC has also asked for 1,000 international firefighters to come help its crews.

The area from Bella Coola to Prince George has the most current fires, with the Island region currently only tackling five fires even after two small ones cropped up on Sunday near Port Alberni. But the extreme drought and fire risk mean that could soon change.

BC fires as of Sunday

Currently, Vancouver Island is at a level 5 drought level that’s heavily affecting a range of communities, including the Westshore; locals have been advised to stay safe and conserve their water as the hot weather persists.

This summer is now Canada’s worst fire season by a large margin, with 10 million hectares—bigger than Portugal—now burned, including 1.2M in BC. A young firefighter, 19, was killed near Revelstoke after she was hit by a falling tree on Thursday. Days later, a Northwest Territories firefighter was also killed on the job.

The current danger is a good reminder for locals to follow fire safety, with Langford Fire and Rescue previously telling the Westshore just how many fires are caused by humans.


Five places to stop and pick up a cold treat in the Westshore

The Westshore has been facing a formidable heat wave, leaving locals sweaty, tired, and needing a refreshment. With National Ice Cream Day this past weekend on July 16, we’ve put together a list of some local spots where you can take your friends and family for a cool treat after a long day in the sun.

Parachute Ice Cream: Parachute ice cream offers customers cakes, scoops, and ice cream in a jar all summer long from noon to 8pm. Located on Goldstream Avenue, this local parlor is a community favorite for creamy or vegan ice cream options.

The Sugar Shack: Operating since 1987, this Metchosin ice cream shop is open from 9am to 8pm and offers baked goods, milkshakes, and, of course, a range of ice cream for the community to choose from. Each month features a new special flavour, so make sure to check out July’s features.

Sea Chest: Sooke’s Sea Chest is a small corner shop that plays host to a variety of organic and handmade ice cream sandwiches, espresso drinks, and tasty treats. The Sea Chest is only open Friday through Sunday from noon to 5pm, so make sure to stop by early on a weekend trip before they sell out.

Bits of Bliss: Focused on baked goods, Bits of Bliss is a sweet treat shop located in Sooke that also offers delicious, homemade ice cream sandwiches for locals to enjoy. With daily and weekly specials, Bits of Bliss is open Wednesday to Saturday with an additional pop-up at the Sooke Night Market.

Ice Cream Mountain: Heading to Goldstream Provincial Park? Ice Cream Mountain is the perfect stop for a snack along the way with a variety of delicious flavours offered in a cone or cup. As a local staple for a number of years, this ice cream shop is the perfect way to celebrate local workers.

Around the 'Shore

🚙 Sooke and Metchosin travel made easier with two new lanes on Highway 14: Westshore commuters can look forward to easier travel as two new lanes opened up between Connie Road and Glinz Lake Road on July 14. [Victoria Buzz]

🏆 View Royal woman given award for saving two drowning people in May: View Royal local Rylie Matthews pulled two people out of Thetis Lake after hearing screams offshore. Matthews was presented with the Mayor’s Award by View Royal Mayor Sid Tobias on July 14. [Vancouver Island Free Daily]

🛍️ A new retail centre will be coming to Langford: News is that construction will soon start on a strip mall on Happy Valley Road. With 12 commercial units and the implementation of a daycare, locals can look forward to shopping for amenities at the new businesses. [Citified]

🍁 As your Member of Parliament, Alistair MacGregor can assist you with federal agencies, and help explain how he’s bringing Langford and Westshore voices to Ottawa.*

⚠️ No risk of tsunami for BC after large Alaskan earthquake: A 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit just off the coast of Alaska this July 16, and had the province of BC on high alert for a possible tsunami warning with fear of coastal regions getting hit. After a few hours, the province determined there was no threat to the Islands. [CHEK]

Coastal Shores Window Cleaning has you covered! From pressure washing, moss removal, gutter cleaning, and window cleaning, Victoria’s best exterior cleaning company is the “clear” choice!*

*Sponsored Listing

Want to sponsor The Westshore newsletter? Get in touch.

Community Events

⚽️ Pacific FC game: Head to Starlight Stadium this July 21 for Pacific FC’s 7pm game. The team faces off against Forge FC as Pacific remains first ranked in the Canadian Premier League.

🧶 Entwined: Langford’s first fibre art market will be coming to the Langford Station July 22 from 11am to 4pm. With a variety of artists, vendors, and artisans, this market is a great opportunity to get your fibre work on.

🎣 Pink Salmon Festival: The Pink Salmon Festival Society is hosting its 11th annual festival this July 23. Skippers will take kids fishing for three hours near Sooke Harbour, Jocks Dock, Cheanuh Marina, and Pedder Bay Marina to teach them all about their work.

What’s Offshore?

Ships offshore, July 10, 2023. Photo: Richard Steward, View Royal

🚢 The Ever Sigma is a container ship built in 2005 and is sailing under the flag of the United Kingdom. It is sailing from Tacoma, United States 🇺🇸 ➡ Vancouver 🇨🇦 and was scheduled to arrive July 2.

⛴ The Villars is a bulk carrier built in 2011 and is sailing under the flag of Panama. It is sailing to ➡ Roberts Bank 🇨🇦 and was scheduled to arrive July 4.

🛳 The United Adventure is a bulk carrier built in 2012 and is sailing under the flag of Panama. It is sailing from Kashima, Ibaraki, Japan 🇯🇵 ➡ Roberts Bank 🇨🇦 and was scheduled to arrive July 9.

Westshore Snaps

The entrance to the Sooke Marine Boardwalk. —Richard Steward, View Royal

📸 Snapped a photo you’d like to share? Send it with a caption and don’t forget to add where you live.

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