Vigilance urged for outdoor burning

With the snow receding thoughts turn to … burning.

With the snow receding thoughts turn to … burning.

Yard waste, that is. But with nearly every municipality having its own burning bylaws, burning of collected yard waste is not allowed throughout the Greater Trail region from Rossland all of the way through to Fruitvale.

However, for those about to burn in regional district area’s A and B where burning is allowed, people are asked to call before they do so.

“For people who want to burn, it is recommended they contact the regional fire centre in Castlegar (1-800-663-5555) to see if they are allowed to burn,” said regional district fire chief Terry Martin.

Anyone planning large-scale industrial burning (category 3) must call 1 888 797-1717 and obtain a burn registration number ahead of time. More information is available at: http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp.

Karlie Shaughnessy of the Southeast Fire Centre in Castlegar asked people to exercise caution when conducting outdoor burns this spring.

“Escaped grass fires are the most common form of human-caused wildfires at this time of year,” she said.

Last year the regional fire rescue department fought six grass fires in the region.

When burning outside, people should create a fireguard at least one metre around the fire by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material.

As well, they are asked not to burn during windy conditions. Weather conditions can change quickly and carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.

Shaughnessy said to never leave a fire unattended and ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and prevent it from escaping.

For more tips on safe burning, residents are encouraged to consult: www.bcwildfire.ca

In B.C. the Wildfire Act specifies a person’s legal obligations when using fire on or within one kilometre of forest land or grassland. If an outdoor burn escapes and causes a wildfire, the person responsible may be held accountable for damages and fire suppression costs.

To report an unattended fire or wildfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free, or dial *5555 on a cellphone.