British Columbians may get their wish for a sunny long weekend, which means it's time to brush up on wildfire prevention and safety.
If you're camping, remember campfires cannot be larger than a half-metre wide by a half-metre tall. You must also create a one-metre debris-free ring around the fire, and have a shovel or at least eight litres of water nearby to extinguish it. Before leaving an area, always ensure your campfire is completely out and the ashes are cool.
Open burning restrictions are currently in place for the Cariboo, Coastal and Kamloops fire centres, which include prohibitions on burning any waste, slash or other materials, piled or un-piled, at a size larger than one metre by one metre.
Nearly half of all wildfires at this time of year result from human activity. Since April 1, fire crews have responded to 93 fires across the province, of which 91 were person-caused.
Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations -
"It's easy to let your guard down coming off a cool and wet spring, but conditions can change quickly at this time of year. The fires in northern Alberta are a timely reminder of the devastation fires can cause. Please take this time to learn how to prevent wildfires, and help protect your family, community and B.C.'s forests this summer."
* Anyone caught breaking a fire ban can be fined up to $345 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, an individual may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
* We rely on the public to help spot new fires. Report smoke and flames by calling *5555 on mobile phones or 1 800-663-5555.
For complete information on fire bans and prohibitions, visit the Wildfire Management Branch website at: http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp
You can also follow the latest wildfire news -
On Twitter at: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo
On Facebook at: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect