Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson is asking the public to exercise caution with any outdoor burning activities within the Coastal Fire Centre.
Almost all fires that start at this time of year are human-caused, and therefore preventable. Homeowners are encouraged to consult the B.C. FireSmart manual and take the following precautions:
* Burn only when conditions allow. Never burn when it is windy as winds can carry embers to other combustible materials and start new fires.
* Have enough water and hand tools nearby to control your fire, keeping in mind that winds can materialize quickly, even on a seemingly calm day.
* Ensure that all other combustible materials are cleared well away from the fire.
* Never leave your fire unattended at any time. Before leaving an area, douse the ashes with enough water that they are cold to the touch.
* Check with local government agencies for current burning bylaws.
* If you are planning to do any large-scale industrial burning (category three), obtain a burn registration number ahead of time by calling 1 888 797-1717. More information is available at: http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp.
The Coast is approaching the time when spring weather normally transitions into early summer. Should conditions warrant it, the Coastal Fire Centre may implement backyard burning restrictions as early as the week of May 16.
If you do burn yard waste, please ensure you do so safely and with due consideration for your neighbours. Burning should not be undertaken if the local air flow will cause the smoke to have a negative impact on nearby residences or a community. For more information on the Province's open burning and smoke control regulation, visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/bcairquality/reports/agttobsc.html.
In British Columbia, the Wildfire Act specifies a person's legal obligations when using fire on or within one kilometre of forest land or grassland. If an outdoor burn escapes and causes a wildfire, a person may be responsible for suppression costs.
The Province thanks the public for its continued help in preventing wildfires. If you see flames, smoke or an abandoned campfire, please call *5555 on your cellphone or toll-free to
1 800 663-5555.
For the B.C. FireSmart manual, visit:
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Fire Information Officer
Coastal Fire Centre
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect