(Photo by Andrew Pons on Unsplash)

High price for discarded butts

B.C. has some of the heftiest fines for violations like discarding lit butts

After receiving a litany of complaints about burning cigarettes being thrown out of car windows, Greater Trail police have issued a public warning.

“The RCMP would like to remind the public that discarded cigarette butts can start fires which can quickly become out of control due to the dry conditions in Trail and the Greater area,” Sgt. Mike Wicentowich advised.

“This could result in damage to property and serious harm or death to the public,” he said.

“Anyone caught throwing a cigarette butt out a vehicle window can face fines under the BC Motor Vehicle Act for littering. Any associated damage or harm to human life that result from this type of negligence can result in criminal and civil consequences to the perpetrator(s).”

British Columbia now has some of the highest wildfire-related violation ticket fines in Canada, including a $575 ticket for dropping, releasing or mishandling a burning substance and a $575 fine for failing to extinguish a burning substance.

Since the season began April 1, the Southeast Fire Centre has reported 32 wildfires and 97 hectares as the total area burned.

Effective Wednesday, June 12, Category 3 open burning will be prohibited in the southeast district.

Increased fines for a variety of wildfire-related violation tickets came into force two years ago.

The province took a tougher stand on irresponsible behaviour that contributes to increased wildfire risks, like improper disposal of cigarettes, in an effort to protect communities, natural resources and infrastructure from wildfire damage.

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