Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson is reminding the public to exercise caution when conducting outdoor burns this spring.
Escaped grass fires are the most common form of human-caused wildfires at this time of year. For tips on safe burning, residents are encouraged to consult: www.bcwildfire.ca
Always take the following precautions:
- Check with local governments or civil authorities about any current burning bylaws or fire restrictions.
- Create a fireguard at least one metre around the fire by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material.
- Do not burn during windy conditions. Weather conditions can change quickly and carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and prevent it from escaping.
- A fire should not be lit near buildings, trees or other combustible materials.
- Make sure that your fire is completely extinguished and the embers are cold before you leave the area.
Anyone planning large-scale industrial burning (Category 3) must call 1 888 797-1717 and obtain a burn registration number ahead of time. More information is available at: http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp
Burning should not be done if local air flow will cause the smoke to negatively affect nearby communities or residences. For more information on the Open Burning 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, the person responsible may be held accountable for damages and fire suppression costs.
To report an unattended fire or wildfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free, or dial *5555 on a cellphone.
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Fire Information Officer
Wildfire Management Branch
Southeast Fire Centre