Province urges fire safety in lead up to Canada Day

Province urges fire safety

As Canada Day approaches, the B.C. government is reminding everyone to exercise caution when it comes to fires.

"Canada Day often means spending time outside with family and friends enjoying our beautiful province," said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. "However, we all must ensure that our outdoor activities are respectful of the environment and don't spark a wildfire that could put people in harm's way."

Many parts of the province have received lower-than-average rainfall so far this year, which means forests and grasslands in some regions are drying out and could easily catch fire.

The hot and dry weather that much of British Columbia is experiencing now is more typical of what is normally seen in July or August and these conditions are expected to persist in the coming weeks, with record-breaking temperatures forecast for many parts of the province. Although the BC Wildfire Service is fully prepared to deal with new wildfires, lightning could spark fires in forested areas and grasslands, and any such fires would be more likely to spread.

About 88 per cent of the 337 wildfires that have occurred since April 1, 2021, were caused by humans. These fires are completely preventable and put extra pressure on crucial firefighting resources and unnecessarily increase the workload of BC Wildfire Service crews.

"British Columbia's emergency response capabilities are among the best in the world," said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. "Let's all take care on Canada Day to prevent human-caused wildfires so our crews can concentrate on existing fires and naturally occurring fires."

People are reminded some open burning activities are prohibited in different regions of the province. Current prohibitions are listed on the BC Wildfire Service website.

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