It's gonna be a hot one! With the return of higher temperatures for this BC Day long weekend, BC Wildfire Service (facebook.com) urges BCers to use caution as wildfire danger ratings are on the rise. http://ow.ly/w38N302JS25 With high temperatures and dry conditions in many parts of the province this week, wildfire danger ratings are once again on the rise. British Columbians are urged to use caution over the B.C. Day long weekend to prevent human-caused wildfires. Campfires are currently permitted in all of the province's six fire centres, but Category 2 and Category 3 open fires are prohibited in many parts of B.C. to reduce wildfire risks and protect public safety. Please check our website's fire bans section for current regulations in your area: http://ow.ly/2K4Q302JDod. To report a wildfire, an unattended campfire or an open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or call *5555 on a cellphone. Have a safe and enjoyable long weekend!
With the return of higher temperatures and drier conditions in many parts of the province this week, wildfire danger ratings are once again on the rise.
British Columbians are urged to use caution over the B.C. Day long weekend to prevent human-caused wildfires.
Campfires are currently permitted in all of the province’s six fire centres, but Category 2 and Category 3 open fires are prohibited in many parts of B.C. to reduce wildfire risks and protect public safety. The use of fireworks is also prohibited in many areas of B.C. A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at: http://ow.ly/jdO5301kS32
Detailed information about current burning restrictions is available on the BC Wildfire Service website at: http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp
Local governments may also have their own burning restrictions in place, so always check with local authorities before lighting any fire of any size.
From April 1, 2016 until noon yesterday, the BC Wildfire Service responded to 603 wildfires, 201 of which were caused by people. Human-caused fires are completely preventable and unnecessarily tie up firefighting resources that could be used to deal with naturally occurring wildfires.
Here’s some important information about campfire safety:
- Have a shovel or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish your campfire.
- Campfires can not be larger than 0.5 metres high by 0.5 metres wide.
- Do not light a campfire or keep it burning in windy conditions. Weather can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material.
- Maintain a one-metre fireguard around the campfire. This is a fuel-free area where all flammable materials (grass, kindling, etc.) have been removed.
- Never leave a campfire unattended.
- Make sure that the campfire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.
Anyone operating motorized vehicles in the backcountry must also exercise caution, since the heat from an exhaust pipe — particularly in tall, dry grass — could ignite a wildfire.
The government’s Natural Resource Officers and Conservation Officers conduct regular patrols throughout British Columbia, monitoring high-risk activities and looking out for potential damage. These officers also work closely with BC Wildfire Service staff to investigate the cause of wildfires and any improper use of fire when an open burning prohibition is in effect.
Homeowners can take simple steps to reduce wildfire risks on their properties by using FireSmart principles. Information about fire prevention and the FireSmart program, including the FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual and checklist, is available online at http://ow.ly/UfWN301GYJW
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson –
“One careless mistake with a campfire or an improperly discarded cigarette could spark a serious wildfire and threaten B.C. communities and resources. Play it safe this weekend and follow the rules. Remember that campfires must be completely extinguished and the ashes must be cold to the touch before you leave the area.”
- Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
- To report a wildfire, an unattended campfire or an open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or call *5555 on a cellphone.
For the latest information on fire activity, conditions and prohibitions, visit the BC Wildfire Service website at 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
Ryan TurcotFire Information Officer
BC Wildfire Service
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations