The Northwest Fire Centre is urging the public to exercise caution with any outdoor burning activities, since hot and dry weather is expected this week in the northern part of the fire centre.
Over the past week, hot and dry weather north of Kitwanga increased the fire danger rating in that region. The fire danger rating now is "high" north of Bob Quinn Lake, with an "extreme" fire danger rating in the Iskut area.
When the dead grass from last summer dries out, it becomes highly flammable. Almost all wildfires at this time of year are caused by humans and are therefore preventable.
Homeowners and industrial personnel are encouraged to consult the B.C. FireSmart manual and take the following precautions when conducting an open burn:
- Ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and prevent it from escaping.
- Do not burn during windy conditions. Weather conditions can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
- Create a fireguard at least one metre wide all around the planned fire site, by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material.
- Never leave a fire unattended. Make sure that your fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before you leave the area.
To view the B.C. FireSmart manual, visit:http://bcwildfire.ca/FightingWildfire/safety/pamphlets/FireSmart-BC4.pdf
If you plan to do any large-scale industrial burning or conduct a grass burn over 0.2 hectares in size (Category 3 fires), you must 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
Always check venting conditions before conducting an open burn. If the conditions are rated "poor" or "fair", open burning is restricted. The venting index can be found at:http://www.bcairquality.ca/readings/ventilation-index.html
In British Columbia, the Wildfire Act specifies a person's legal obligations when using fire on or within one kilometre of forested 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.
Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345 or, if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
The provincial government thanks the public for its ongoing help in preventing wildfires. To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or call *5555 on your cellphone.
For the latest information on fire activity, conditions and prohibitions, visit the Wildfire Management Branch website: www.bcwildfire.ca
You can also follow the latest wildfire news -
- On Twitter at: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo
- On Facebook at: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo
Fire Information Officer
Wildfire Management Branch
Northwest Fire Centre