45% of B.C wildfires were caused by humans and continue to damage the provinces landscape
With warm temperatures persisting in many regions of the province and the potential for new ignitions still high in some areas, the BC Wildfire Service is urging British Columbians to stay alert and use fire safely over the Labour day weekend.
Recent wildfires, such as the 2,122-hectare Christie Mountain blaze south of Penticton, have vividly demonstrated how quickly fire can spread. Although northern portions of B.C. are currently experiencing cooler conditions, fire prevention is a responsibility that everyone shares — no matter where people live.
“I thank all British Columbians who are doing their part by staying alert for potential fire risks and taking open burning prohibitions seriously,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “I hope that everyone enjoys the Labour Day long weekend, while also recognizing that the wildfire season is not over yet.”
Anyone planning to spend time outdoors this weekend is encouraged to use caution with any activity that could potentially spark a wildfire. Human-caused fires are completely preventable and can unnecessarily divert firefighting resources from naturally occurring wildfires or fires that are already burning.
From April 1 through Sept. 2, 2020, the BC Wildfire Service responded to 586 wildfires throughout the province, 45% of which were human caused. Over 11,000 hectares have burned in B.C. since April 1.
People are urged to take the following precautions to help prevent wildfire while outdoors this weekend and in the weeks ahead.
Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, may be required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, may be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.