Victoria/Fraser Valley – The BC Wildfire Service wants you to exercise caution with any outdoor burning.
The current weather forecast is calling for increased winds starting today, through tomorrow in the Fraser Valley, Vanderhoof, Fort St. James, Prince George, Mackenzie and Peace River areas. Winds up to 50 kilometres per hour can be expected with erratic wind-direction changes.
Of course the irony is the recent snow pack melt, the heavy rain and the interior flooding. All of this on the heels of the heavy snowfall this past winter.
Anyone wishing to light an open fire must watch for changing weather conditions and follow all burning regulations in order to reduce the number of preventable wildfires, and 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.
- If you are planning a large burn, consider conducting smaller burns around the perimeter beforehand to create a fuel break and help prevent the fire from spreading beyond its intended size. Each of these fires should be kept small and must be completely extinguished before starting a new fire.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Make sure that your fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to touch before you leave the area for any length of time.
If an open burn escapes and causes a wildfire, the person responsible may be held accountable for damages and fire suppression costs. It is the responsibility of that individual to ensure that burning is done in a safe manner and in accordance with regulations and any current burning restrictions.
The Prince George Fire Centre extends from the Yukon and Northwest Territories in the north to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, the Cottonwood River and Robson Valley in the south, and from the Alberta border in the east to the Skeena Mountains in the west.
A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online: http://ow.ly/znny309kJv5
For more information about safe open burning practices, check the BC Wildfire Service website:
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To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, please call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.