Increased fines for a variety of wildfire-related violation tickets came into force today. Anyone caught contravening specified open burning and campfire regulations could now face fines more than three times higher than last year’s penalties.
The B.C. government has been taking a tougher stand on irresponsible behaviour that contributes to increased wildfire risks, in an effort to protect communities, natural resources and infrastructure from wildfire damage.
The regulatory changes announced on March 10, 2016, significantly increase ticket fines for 19 different violations under the Wildfire Act and another seven violations under the Wildfire Regulation.
These changes mean that British Columbia now has some of the highest wildfire-related violation ticket fines in Canada. For example, the fine for not complying with a fire restriction under the Wildfire Act has tripled from $345 to $1,150. Failing to properly extinguish a burning substance, such as a cigarette, will now cost an offender $575.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
Follow the latest B.C. wildfire news:
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson –
“This government has acted on behalf of all British Columbians to crack down on reckless behaviour that could put lives, communities and resources at risk. We encourage everyone to do the right thing this fire season by learning more about responsible fire use and making sure they follow the rules.”
- On average, 30 to 40% of wildfires in British Columbia each year are caused by people.
- The 2015 fire season was one of the busiest and most expensive in recent years, with over 283,400 hectares burned and over $278 million spent on wildfire management.
BC Wildfire Service: www.bcwildfire.ca
FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual: http://bit.ly/1UAxuDt
Explanation of open burning categories: http://bit.ly/1GlhE9l
Safe backyard burning practices: www.bcwildfire.ca/Prevention
A backgrounder follows.
Media RelationsMinistry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Wildfire Act violation ticket fines (effective April 1, 2016)
- Section 2, Fail to report fire: $383
- Section 3 (1), Drop, release or mishandle burning substance: $575
- Section 3 (2), Fail to extinguish burning substance: $575
- Section 5 (1), Light, fuel or use fire against regulations: $1,150
- Section 5 (2) (a), Fail to extinguish fire: $575
- Section 5 (2) (b), Fail to report fire: $575
- Section 6 (1), Light, fuel or use fire against regulations, industrial: $1,150
- Section 7 (1), Fail to assess fire hazard: $767
- Section 7 (2), Fail to abate fire hazard: $1,150
- Section 7 (4), Fail to comply with hazard abatement order: $1,150
- Section 10 (3), Light, fuel or use fire against restriction: $1,150
- Section 10 (4), Fail to comply with fire restriction: $1,150
- Section 11 (2), Fail to comply with restricted area requirements: $767
- Section 12 (2), Fail to comply with order restricting activity or use: $767
- Section 13 (2), Fail to comply with order to leave area: $767
- Section 16 (2), Fail to comply with fire control order: $575
- Section 22 (2), Fail to stop vehicle or vessel: $575
- Section 22 (3), Fail to provide documents: $383
- Section 56 (2), Intentional interference, non-compliance or false statement: $1,150
Wildfire Regulation violation ticket fines (effective April 1, 2016)
- Section 5, Fail to have sufficient fire tools: $307
- Section 6 (3), Fail to comply with high risk activity restrictions, and keep at activity site firefighting hand tools and adequate fire suppression system: $460
- Section 6 (4), Fail to meet fire watcher requirements: $460
- Section 8, Operate engine contrary to regulations: $460
- Section 9, Fail to meet fire prevention measures – railway operations: $767
- Section 10, Fail to meet fire prevention measures – transmission operations: $767
- Section 13 (1), Fail to meet fire suppression responsibilities: $307