(Black Press Media file photo)

BC Wildfire Service urges people to be careful with fire use over long weekend

BC Wildfire Service responded to 696 wildfires between April 1 and Aug. 28

While summer may be wrapping up, wildfire season isn’t over just yet.

The Ministry of Forests is urging people in B.C. to be careful about their use of fire over the coming long weekend.

The ministry says there is still potential for forest fuels and grasslands to dry out in many areas of the province with warm weather expected to continue.

There are already wildfires that are burning, with the potential for new, naturally occurring fires. Meanwhile, human-caused fires are preventable.

“I hope that all British Columbians can enjoy the Labour Day long weekend with friends and family,” said Forests Minister Doug Donaldson. “While this fire season hasn’t been as active as the past two summers, we still need everyone to remain vigilant and act responsibly.”

READ ALSO: Raptors evacuated due to threatening Okanagan wildfire

The BC Wildfire Service responded to 696 wildfires throughout the province between April 1 and Aug. 28. Fifty-seven per cent of those fires were caused by people. Over 21,141 hectares of land have been burned in B.C. since April 1.

Currently, campfires are allowed in all areas of the province that fall under BC Wildfire Service’s jurisdiction but local governments and other authorities like BC Parks have their own restrictions and bylaws that should be checked. A region-wide, blanket ban has not come down in Greater Victoria yet.

Campfires must not be larger than 0.5 metres high and 0.5 metres wide. The ministry says to never light a campfire or keep it burning in windy conditions because the wind may carry embers to other combustible material.

A fuel-free area where all flammable materials like grass, leaves and kindling are removed down to the soil, should be maintained around the campfire and the fire should never be left unattended.

It is also recommended to have a shovel or at least eight litres of water available to properly extinguish your campfire.

READ ALSO: Slow start to B.C. wildfire season saves province money

Those riding all-terrain vehicles or dirt bikes on Crown land must have a spark arrestor installed on the vehicle. The condition of the muffler should also be checked and buildup from hot spots should be cleared regularly. Smokers are being asked to dispose of cigarette butts responsibly as well.

Provincial conservation officers regularly patrol throughout B.C. and natural resource officers work closely with BC Wildfire Service staff to investigate the cause of wildfires and improper fire use when an open burning ban is in effect.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning ban could receive a ticket of $1,150 and may have to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000. If convicted, they could be fined up to $100,000 or sentenced to one year in jail.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

Up-to-date information on wildfire activity, restrictions and more can be found at bcwildfire.ca or by calling 1 888-3-FOREST.

To learn about the FireSmart program, visit firesmartbc.ca. More information about open-burning prohibitions and wildfire prevention can be found on the province’s website.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Jail time for North Okanagan break and enter

Man involved in break in with ties to fatal February shooting to serve 46 months

Vernon ‘cartoon band-aid lady’ turns 100

Betty Ladyman used to hand out band-aids with cartoons to kids getting needles at VJH or lab

Vernon cowboy captures world championship buckle

Jaret Cooper, 16, from VSS, wins novice saddle bronc event at Junior World Finals rodeo in Las Vegas

Armstrong thrift store donates plenty to health care

Bargain Bin, run by Armstrong Spallumcheen Healthcare Auxiliary, donates $40,000 to VJH Foundation

Kelowna Salvation Army sees increase in toy, cash donations

The Tiny Tim Charity Toy Breakfast started its 19th year Thursday morning

Strata rental bans escape B.C. speculation tax through 2021, Carole James says

Vacant home tax won’t apply to cabins accessible only by water

South Okanagan elderly accident victim ‘a tough customer’

Penticton Fire Department crews rescue elderly man who rolled his ATV down an embankment

LETTER: No one wins with private care

Dear Editor, Day’s team argues that the public health-care system is a… Continue reading

WATCH: Eyewitness captures moment truck slams into Tim Hortons in Kelowna

A pickup truck crashed into the front a Tim Hortons in Rutland causing a small fire on Monday night

LETTER: Keep bucks in the community

Shop Local! Start Now!! Here are some recent experiences which show how… Continue reading

Letter: Population growth is the problem

Dear Editor: In response to letters from Robert T. Rock of Mission… Continue reading

Morning Start: How many people live on earth?

Your morning start for December 10, 2019.

Most Read