The Wildfire Management Branch has responded to seven new wildfires in the Prince George Fire Centre over the past 24 hours. It’s suspected that all of these fires were caused by people.
Prince George Fire Centre crews helped several local fire departments deal with escaped yard fires and also responded to multiple wildfires resulting from poorly planned or inadequately monitored open burns.
Grassfire hazards are present in many areas of the Prince George Fire Centre and members of the public are reminded to be extremely cautious when using fire to clean up their properties.
Although clearing and burning activities at this time of year can mitigate interface wildfire risks, any open burning must be done safely. Homeowners and industry personnel are encouraged to visit the Wildfire Management Branch website at www.bcwildfire.ca/Prevention and take the following precautions:
- 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 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.
Before conducting any burn, also check with your local fire department, municipality and regional district to see if any open burning restrictions or bylaws are in effect.
If you are planning to do any large-scale industrial burning or conduct a grass burn over 0.2 hectares (Category 3 fires), you must obtain a burn registration number ahead of time by calling 1 888 797-1717.
Always check the venting conditions before conducting an open burn. The venting index can be found online at: http://www.bcairquality.ca/readings/ventilation-index.html
Fire Information Officer
Wildfire Management Branch
Prince George Fire Centre