(Black Press Media file photo)

BC Wildfire Service urges people to be careful with fire use over long weekend

BC Wildfire Service responded to 696 wildfires between April 1 and Aug. 28

While summer may be wrapping up, wildfire season isn’t over just yet.

The Ministry of Forests is urging people in B.C. to be careful about their use of fire over the coming long weekend.

The ministry says there is still potential for forest fuels and grasslands to dry out in many areas of the province with warm weather expected to continue.

There are already wildfires that are burning, with the potential for new, naturally occurring fires. Meanwhile, human-caused fires are preventable.

“I hope that all British Columbians can enjoy the Labour Day long weekend with friends and family,” said Forests Minister Doug Donaldson. “While this fire season hasn’t been as active as the past two summers, we still need everyone to remain vigilant and act responsibly.”

READ ALSO: Raptors evacuated due to threatening Okanagan wildfire

The BC Wildfire Service responded to 696 wildfires throughout the province between April 1 and Aug. 28. Fifty-seven per cent of those fires were caused by people. Over 21,141 hectares of land have been burned in B.C. since April 1.

Currently, campfires are allowed in all areas of the province that fall under BC Wildfire Service’s jurisdiction but local governments and other authorities like BC Parks have their own restrictions and bylaws that should be checked. A region-wide, blanket ban has not come down in Greater Victoria yet.

Campfires must not be larger than 0.5 metres high and 0.5 metres wide. The ministry says to never light a campfire or keep it burning in windy conditions because the wind may carry embers to other combustible material.

A fuel-free area where all flammable materials like grass, leaves and kindling are removed down to the soil, should be maintained around the campfire and the fire should never be left unattended.

It is also recommended to have a shovel or at least eight litres of water available to properly extinguish your campfire.

READ ALSO: Slow start to B.C. wildfire season saves province money

Those riding all-terrain vehicles or dirt bikes on Crown land must have a spark arrestor installed on the vehicle. The condition of the muffler should also be checked and buildup from hot spots should be cleared regularly. Smokers are being asked to dispose of cigarette butts responsibly as well.

Provincial conservation officers regularly patrol throughout B.C. and natural resource officers work closely with BC Wildfire Service staff to investigate the cause of wildfires and improper fire use when an open burning ban is in effect.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning ban could receive a ticket of $1,150 and may have to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000. If convicted, they could be fined up to $100,000 or sentenced to one year in jail.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

Up-to-date information on wildfire activity, restrictions and more can be found at bcwildfire.ca or by calling 1 888-3-FOREST.

To learn about the FireSmart program, visit firesmartbc.ca. More information about open-burning prohibitions and wildfire prevention can be found on the province’s website.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Highway 4 reopens after police incident near Port Alberni

Highway between Port Alberni and the West Coast was briefly closed in both directions

Tofino restaurateur pays landlord’s generosity forward to Hospital Foundation

Coronavirus pandemic cancels foundation’s largest annual fundraiser

Surfrider Pacific Rim: Celebrating SonBird’s dedication to the Coast

West Coast recycling centre continues to serve thanks to an open-air depot and new regulations.

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve issues wolf advisory

Frequent sightings reported around Long Beach area.

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

Gold River ready to welcome visitors and restart local businesses

In contrast to single-industry remote communities, Gold River’s diversified economy might help it better survive after reopening

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Most Read