Spring’s warmth has been slow to arrive but the wildfire threat still burns strong.
The B.C. Wildfire Service is reminding Southern Interior residents be careful with open fire use to help reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires.
“Although there are currently no open fire prohibitions in place within the Kamloops Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, it is important to conduct all burning activities safely,” said Max Birkner, fire information officer.
Anyone wishing to light an open fire must take the following precautions:
* Ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and prevent it from escaping.
* Do not burn during windy conditions. Weather conditions can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
* Create a fireguard at least one metre around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material.
* Never leave a fire unattended.
* Ensure that the fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.
Before conducting any open burn, people should check with their local fire department, municipality and regional district to ensure that no open burning restrictions or bylaws are in effect.
Anyone planning to do any large-scale industrial burning or conduct a grass burn larger than 0.2 hectares must obtain a burn registration number ahead of time by calling 1-888-797-1717. Burn registration numbers are available free of charge. A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at http://ow.ly/znny309kJv5
If a fire escapes, the person who lit it may be held liable for fire suppression costs and damages. It is the responsibility of the individual lighting the fire to ensure that burning is done safely and in accordance with regulations.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call *5555 on a cell phone or 1-800-663-5555 toll-free. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit www.bcwildfire.ca