(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

Man cycles across B.C. Interior for sobriety

Vancouver Island Resident Matt Fee is approaching the final phase of his cross-Canada bike journey to raise awareness about addiction recovery.

LETTER: Upper Arrow Heights resident urges council to deny rezoning in area

Mayor and Council, I am concerned about the application for rezoning and… Continue reading

Conservative leader stops in Lake Country

Andrew Scheer says he would bring back two child-focused tax credits cut by the Liberals

Kelowna classroom where child allegedly overdosed re-opens after cleaning

An 8-year-old was unresponsive and unable to walk after ingesting an unknown substance at school.

Revelstoke’s Dam Survivors bring home bronze

The dragon boat team finished up their season with a medal

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Facebook group forms committee against Thompson Nicola R.V. crackdown

Group discusses issues with regional R.V. bylaw at recent meeting

Free Tesla 3 offered with purchase of Surrey townhome

Century Group’s offer for Viridian development runs through Oct. 31

Most Read