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BC Wildfire Service urges caution over BC Day long weekend

Weekend fire warning

The return of hot weather has led the BC Wildfire Service to warn the public about tinder dry forest conditions.

Although the start of this year's wildfire season was quieter than normal, August is typically the most active month of B.C.'s wildfire season.

This is why it is important for British Columbians and visitors to remain vigilant and ensure that they are using fire safely.

Human-caused fires are preventable and unnecessarily divert crucial firefighting resources from naturally occurring wildfires.

From April 1 through July 29, the BC Wildfire Service responded to 239 wildfires throughout the province, 85 per cent of which were attributed to human activity.

"We know people want to get out into the great outdoors, but it's important that everyone stay vigilant about fire safety," said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

"Fighting wildfires can be challenging at the best of times, but managing them in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic requires BC Wildfire Service staff to operate with even greater care.

“I urge everyone to support our crews by using fire responsibly and making sure that their activities don't spark a wildfire this holiday weekend."

Campfires are currently allowed in all areas of the province that fall under the BC Wildfire Service's jurisdiction. However, people are urged to use caution and keep an ample supply of water nearby to fully extinguish their campfires. Local governments and other jurisdictions (e.g., BC Parks) may have their own burning restrictions or bylaws in place. 

  • Campfires must not be larger than 0.5 metres high or 0.5 metres wide.
  • Never light a campfire or keep it burning in windy conditions. Weather can change quickly, and wind may carry embers to other combustible material.
  • Maintain a fireguard around the campfire. This is a fuel-free area where all flammable materials (grass, leaves, kindling, etc.) have been removed right down to the soil.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended.
  • Have a shovel or at least eight litres of water available to properly extinguish your campfire.
  • Make sure the ashes are cool to the touch before retiring for the night or leaving the area for any length of time.
  • Anyone riding an all-terrain vehicle or dirt bike on Crown land must have a spark arrestor installed on the vehicle. To help reduce wildfire risks, check the condition of the muffler, regularly clear buildups of grass or other vegetation from hot spots, stay on dirt paths and avoid riding in tall grass and weeds.

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



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