Due to the current dry conditions, the Cariboo Fire Centre will be prohibiting Category 2 and Category 3 fires, as of noon on April 4, 2016, to help prevent human-caused fires and protect the public.
Since March 1, 13 fires have burned 42 hectares in the Cariboo Fire Centre. BC Wildfire Service crews or local fire departments extinguished these fires, which were all human-caused and resulted from grass burning or pile burning.
The Cariboo Fire Centre stretches from Loon Lake near Clinton in the south to the Cottonwood River near Quesnel in the north and from Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the west to Wells Gray Provincial Park in the east.
This is a good time of year for people to consult the newly updated Homeowner’s FireSmart Manual to learn about reducing wildfire hazards on private property. It is available at: http://bit.ly/1UAxuDt
However, the BC Wildfire Service urges anyone planning to conduct an open burn before April 4 to use caution to help reduce the number of preventable wildfires.
Anyone igniting a fire outdoors must watch for changing weather conditions and ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and prevent it from escaping. The public is urged to follow all burning regulations. Before conducting a burn, people should also check with their local fire department, municipality and regional district to find out if any burning restrictions or bylaws are in effect.
Anyone planning to do any large-scale industrial burning, burn more than two piles of any size or conduct a grass burn larger than 0.2 hectares (Category 3 fires), must first obtain a burn registration number by calling 1 888 797-1717. Burn registration numbers are available free of charge.
A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at: http://bit.ly/1GlhE9l
People are also required check venting conditions before conducting an open burn. If venting conditions are rated “poor” or “fair”, open burning is restricted. The venting index can be found at: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/epdpa/venting/venting.html
If a fire escapes, the person responsible may be held liable for fire suppression costs and damages. In 2009, for example, a person in the Cariboo was fined just under $900,000 for causing a wildfire due to unsafe open burning practices. It’s the responsibility of the individual to ensure that the open burn is conducted in a safe and responsible manner and in accordance with current burning restrictions.
Up-to-date information on burning prohibitions and current wildfire activity can be obtained by calling 1 888 3-FOREST or online at: http://www.bcwildfire.ca
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