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

Kelowna council defers decision on homeless development

BC Housing is revisiting original plan after concerns from local businesses

3% tax hike proposed in West Kelowna

Proposed provisional budget tax hike in line with recent annual increases in the city

Okanagan robbery suspect sought

RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect in an… Continue reading

11-year-old water quality advisory lifted in Glenmore

Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District says Interior Health gave the green light to lift advisory

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

Crook’s Corner

A slice of this week’s arts and entertainment happenings in the North Okanagan at a glance

Six-year-old boy needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

Mother of sick Sooke boy asks government to help fund treatments

Environmental groups slam NDP decision to continue with Site C

Construction industry, meanwhile, is cautiously optimistic about how the project will look

Be ladder safe both at work and home

WorkSafeBC wants you to keep safe while hanging those Christmas lights this year

B.C. overdose deaths surpass 1,200

96 people died of illicit drug overdoses in October

A classic Christmas play with a Kelowna twist

Scrooge is transported to Kelowna in New Vintage Theatre’s new holiday play, opening Wednesday

Crown appeals stay against Jamie Bacon in Surrey Six killings

B.C.’s prosecution service says judge’s decision reveals ‘errors of law’

Feds agree to give provinces 75 per cent of pot tax revenues

Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the agreement today

Attempted murder charge up in the air after victim’s death

Without Thomas Szajko’s testimony, alleged shooter Afshin Ighani could get off on that charge

Most Read