With the long weekend is ready to launch – BC Day is Monday – the province is reminding all British Columbians about the high risk for wildfire in these hot and dry conditions.
Regular patrols by natural resource and conservation officers will be stepped up throughout B.C. to monitor “high-risk activities” warned the Ministry of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development on Thursday.
“These officers work closely with BC Wildfire Service staff to investigate the cause of wildfires and any improper use of fire when an open burning prohibition is in effect,” the release read.
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 $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.
Campfires are banned in the Southeast Fire Centre though forest use is currently unrestricted.
As of Aug. 1, one new human-caused fire and 49 new lightning-caused fires were active in the southeast region.
“The men and women of the BC Wildfire Service are working long hours in sometimes very difficult conditions, so I’m asking everyone to do their part to prevent wildfires and not add to their workload,” said Minister Doug Donaldson.
“Be careful when you’re out in the backcountry. Follow the rules and avoid any activities that could start a wildfire.”
Donaldson reminds drone operators, recreational boaters and users of other types of watercraft to stay clear of areas where firefighting aircraft are operating. Interference could result in large fines, or even jail time.