With this weekend’s weather forecast calling for increased wind activity starting tonight and continuing through Saturday, the BC Wildfire Service is encouraging members of the public to exercise caution with any outdoor burning.
Anyone wishing to light an open fire must watch for changing weather conditions and follow all burning regulations to help reduce the number of preventable wildfires.
People planning to conduct an open burn should 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.
- If you are planning a large burn, consider conducting smaller burns around the perimeter beforehand to create a fuel break and help prevent the fire from spreading beyond its intended size. Each of these fires should be kept small and must be completely extinguished before starting a new fire.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Make sure that your fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to touch before you leave the area for any length of time.
Before lighting any fire, people should check with their local fire department, municipality and regional district to find out if any open burning restrictions or bylaws are in effect.
Anyone planning to do any large-scale industrial burning or conduct a grass burn larger than 0.2 Hectares (Category 3 fires) must obtain a burn registration number ahead of time by calling 1 888 797-1717.
If a fire escapes, the person responsible may be held liable for fire suppression costs and damages. It is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that they are burning in a safe, responsible manner that is in accordance with current restrictions.
Up-to-date information on burning restrictions and current wildfire activity can be obtained by calling 1 888 3-FOREST or is available online at: http://www.bcwildfire.ca
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To report a wildfire, please call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.