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Kamloops Fire Centre Urges Caution with Spring Burning

Posted Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Kamloops Fire Centre may experience an early drying trend this spring, so the BC Wildfire Service is urging the public to be cautious with any open burning activities.
FireSmart activities are encouraged this time of year to mitigate interface wildfire risk, but there is a safe way to conduct backyard burning. Homeowners and industry personnel are encouraged to visit the BC Wildfire Service website at www.bcwildfire.ca/Prevention, consult the newly updated FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual, and 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.
  • If you are planning a large burn, consider conducting smaller burns around the perimeter beforehand to create a fuel break and help stop the fire from spreading beyond its intended size. Each of these fires should be kept small and must be completely extinguished before starting a new fire.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Make sure that your fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before you leave the area for any length of time.
  • Pay attention to changing weather conditions and follow all burning regulations to help reduce the number of preventable wildfires.

Before conducting any burn, check with your local fire department, municipality and regional district to see if there are any open burning restrictions or bylaws in effect.

If you are planning to do any large-scale industrial burning or conduct a grass burn larger than 0.2 hectares (Category 3 fires), you must obtain a burn registration number ahead of time by calling 1 888 797-1717.

Always check the venting conditions before conducting an open burn. If venting conditions are rated “Poor” or “Fair”, open burning is restricted. The venting index can be found at:
http://www.bcairquality.ca/readings/ventilation-index.html

In British Columbia, the Wildfire Act specifies a person’s legal obligations when using fire in or within one kilometre of forested 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 a wildfire, please call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

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