VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Before you pack your trunk full of fireworks and head out into the BC back-country for the Canada Day long weekend, it might be worth checking the list of fire bans.
A new partial campfire ban in the Cariboo Fire Centre comes into effect on Thursday. If affects the Cariboo-Chilcotin Forest District west of the Fraser River, and throughout Itcha Ilgachuz Provincial Park.
A similar ban in the Kamloops Fire Centre has been in effect since June 15th.
Fireworks, burning barrels, and tiki torches will be prohibited in those areas through the long weekend.
“Especially over the past week, we’ve seen a trend towards hotter and drier conditions across BC, especially in the southern and central interior,” explains Ryan Turcot with the BC Wildfire Service. “When you see conditions like that, it doesn’t take long for the wildfire risk to start increasing at a pretty rapid pace.”
Between April 1st and June 27th, 165 of the 237 fires recorded were sparked by people — nearly 70 per cent.
“At this time of year, there are going to be some naturally-occurring wildfires that we can’t prevent, and we need resources available to respond to those. So every time there’s a human-caused fire, that’s a fire that’s diverting critical resources away from the ones we can’t prevent,” Turcot adds.
A ticket for breaking the campfire rules can cost more than $1,100. Penalties for anyone convicted of starting a wildfire can include up to a year in jail, and fines as high a $100,000.
More information on fire safety, conditions, and prohibitions can be found here.