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WILDFIRES – Public reminded by fire centre to be careful with open fires

With spring well underway in the Kamloops Fire Centre, the B.C. Wildfire Service is reminding members of the public to be careful with open fire use to help reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires.

Although there are currently no open fire prohibitions in place within the Kamloops Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, it is important to conduct all burning activities safely, said the fire centre. Anyone wishing to light an open fire must 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.

* Never leave a fire unattended.

* Ensure that the fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

Before conducting any open burn, people should check with their local fire department, municipality and regional district to ensure that no open burning restrictions or bylaws are in effect.

Anyone planning to do any large-scale industrial burning or conduct a grass burn larger than 0.2 hectares (Category 3 fires) must obtain a burn registration number ahead of time by calling 1 888 797-1717. Burn registration numbers are available free of charge. A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at http://ow.ly/znny309kJv5

If a fire escapes, the person who lit it may be held liable for fire suppression costs and damages. It is the responsibility of the individual lighting the fire to ensure that burning is done safely and in accordance with regulations.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call *5555 on a cellphone or 1 800 663-5555 toll-free. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit www.bcwildfire.ca

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About Mel Rothenburger (4443 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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