(Black Press Media file photo)

Province 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 www.bcwildfire.ca or by calling 1 888-3-FOREST.

To learn about the FireSmart program, visit www.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

Thief robs Saanich liquor store at gunpoint, takes cash register

Police ask for public’s help with ongoing investigation

Third time lucky for Freedom Mobile cell tower in Sooke

Council approves tower after cell provider applies multiple times

Victoria International Airport named one of the best employers in B.C.

Cited reasons include its training programs and tuition subsidies

No-cost birth control not included in 2020 B.C. budget

AccessBC team calls it a ‘missed opportunity,’ says the group won’t stop campaigning

Quadriplegic Saanich man seeks continuity of home care from Island Health

Island Health took over home care services in November

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Exclusive: Pamela Anderson talks plans for waterfront Ladysmith property after 12-day marriage

Anderson says she can pay her own bills. Peters denies making comments suggesting she can’t

Burger King breaks the mould with new advertising campaign

The company is known for irreverent ad campaigns

Maggie and Tim: B.C. residential school survivor turns to faith, forgiveness in mourning son

A young man’s tragic death and his mother’s survival through hardship

PHOTOS: RCMP call on kids to name latest police puppy recruits

This year’s theme is the letter ‘N,’ and 13 German shephards must be named

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett standing by to return to Smithers

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

Most Read