­The pending ban on smoking at Vancouver parks and beaches is expected to kick in early — temporarily — because the long bout of hot weather has turned public spaces tinder dry.

Ian Robertson, a Park Board commissioner, said districts around the Lower Mainland are likely implementing the same smoking bans as of today.

This is the second driest July on record, he said.

“There is the permanent ban starting September, (but) based on the hot dry conditions we expect we’re going to move to an extreme fire rating (today),” he said.

“When that happens, a no-smoking ban automatically goes into effect.”

“We’ve done this every year, for all the years we can remember. We get an extreme rating at some point (every) summer.”

The permanent ban starts Sept. 1 after Park Board commissioners voted unanimously in April to start enforcing it.

Fines will start at $250 for first-time offenders and go up to a maximum of $2,000.

 

With files from Natasha Poon