06/25/2015 06:33 EDT | Updated 06/25/2016 05:59 EDT

Fireworks banned in West Vancouver effective immediately

The District of West Vancouver has banned the use of fireworks due to a high fire rating in the area. The ban is effective immediately, and no permits for fireworks will be approved.

Fire chiefs are urging people to exercise extra caution across the entire North Shore, suggesting that if the hot dry weather continues, the fire rating may be upgraded to "extreme."

"In addition to forested areas, we're extremely concerned about brush fires within residential neighbourhoods," North Vancouver District fire chief Victor Penman said in a statement.

"We have responded to numerous brush fires over the past few weeks, on boulevards and at trailheads, caused mainly by carelessly discarded cigarettes."

Residents are being asked to follow fire safety guidelines, including:

- Discard cigarettes safely. Do not toss them from vehicles.

- Stay on trails and do not smoke or use matches when in the forest.

- Paper cups, food wrappers and other combustibles can provide kindling for a fire; dispose of garbage in a proper receptacle.

- Dispose of glass and bottles in the recycling container or return for deposit. Strong sunshine through a discarded bottle or jar can act as a magnifying glass and start fires.

- Store gasoline, propane and other flammable liquids outside your home in a detached garage or shed and away from any heat sources.

Anyone who sees smoke is asked to call 911 immediately.