Fire prevention urged over long weekend

With B.C. Day around the corner, the provincial government says everyone has a role to play in helping prevent wildfires

  • Aug. 3, 2017 12:00 p.m.

With B.C. Day around the corner, the provincial government says everyone has a role to play in helping prevent wildfires.

Given the number of fires currently burning in the province, along with elevated fire danger ratings and extremely dry conditions in many parts of the province, the B.C. Wildfire Service is urging residents and visitors to remain vigilant regarding potential fire dangers.

From April 1 to Aug. 1, the B.C. Wildfire Service responded to 852 wildfires in B.C., 341 of which were caused by people.

“Human-caused fires – e.g., from improperly extinguished campfires, discarded cigarettes and sparking vehicles – are completely preventable and unnecessarily tie up crucial firefighting resources that could be used to deal with naturally occurring wildfires,” states a release.

The B.C. Wildfire Service continues to receive reports of illegal campfires. Campfires and open fires are banned throughout the province, with the exception of Haida Gwaii and the west side of Vancouver Island.

“The current open-fire prohibitions do not apply to CSA-rated or ULC-rated cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres,” states the provincial release.

“Local governments may have their own burning restrictions or bylaws in place, so always check with local authorities before lighting any fire of any size.”

The provincial government’s natural resource officers and conservation officers conduct regular patrols throughout B.C., monitoring high-risk activities and looking out for potential damage. These officers also work closely with B.C. Wildfire Service staff to investigate the cause of wildfires and any improper use of fire when an open burning prohibition is in effect.

“Patrols will be stepped up this weekend to educate the public about fire restrictions and issue violation tickets to people who are not complying with open burning prohibitions,” states the release.

To report a wildfire or open-burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. To report suspicious activities, environmental damage or a natural-resource violation, call 1 877 952-RAPP (7277) or *7277 on a cellphone.

The B.C. Wildfire Service continues to receive reports of improperly discarded cigarettes. Smokers must dispose of cigarette butts and other smoking material responsibly, making sure that these materials are completely extinguished. Smokers who drop lit or smouldering cigarettes or other items could face a $575 fine under the Wildfire Act.

Anyone found in contravention of an open-burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, may be required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, may be 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.

Just Posted

Update: Police expand search in North Okanagan-Shuswap

Examination continues in Silver Creek, while another search happens between Salmon Arm and Enderby

Who is Curtis Sagmoen?

The Observer reveals what we know about the man attached to the Silver Creek property where human remains were found

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Search at Silver Creek property enters third day

A portion of the property has been cordoned off with black landscaping fabric

Man in custody linked to Silver Creek property search

Police are not saying how this search is related to Curtis Wayne Sagmoen’s current criminal charges

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

A golden opportunity

Orthodontist offers sweet deal for the pocketbook

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Most Read