BC's outdoors are a public treasure for the entire community to enjoy. Wildfires prevent us all from enjoying the land, and every year destroy some of the most remarkable habitats in the world. With new provincial government fines of up to $1,000,000 in place, it is up to all of us to prevent wildfires.
Prevention means stopping wildfires before they start. Discarded cigarette butts, campfires, hot exhaust pipes coming into contact with dry grass and vegetation, power tools (such as chainsaws), Tiki torches and even discarded glass can all ignite a wildfire.
When enjoying our environment, there are a few key steps to prevent wildfires.
Campfires: Observe current campfire restrictions in your area and carry out safe campfire practices such as never lighting a campfire when itís windy and removing all leaves, twigs and other flammable material from the area around where you plan to light your campfire.
Extinguishing campfires: To extinguish your campfire, pour plenty of water on the fire and surrounding area, dousing the site of the campfire thoroughly. Stir the campfire until there are no embers and the ashes are cold to the touch.
Fireworks: Avoid using these in wooded and dry grass areas.The BC Wildfire Service may implement bans and prohibitions that restrict the use of items such as fireworks, Tiki torches, burn barrels, sky lanterns, and other potential fire-starting equipment.
Drones: The use of drones is strictly prohibited near wildfires. This is illegal and puts aircraft and crews in serious danger. Anyone found interfering with wildfire control efforts, including flying drones, can face penalties up to $100,000 and/or up to one year in jail.
Waste burning: Observe local regulations and only burn in small batches that are easy to control.
Cigarettes: Make sure cigarettes are extinguished fully and dispose of them in a safe place. Do not discard smoking materials from vehicles. Always use interior ashtrays.
Off Road Vechicles (OHVs): Be mindful of the damage that hot exhausts can do. OHVs must be fitted with a working spark arrestor. Motorized vehicles, particularly All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and dirt bikes, can produce a significant amount of heat from their exhaust systems. This heat can be enough to spark a wildfire. Avoid operating any motorized vehicle in tall grass and vegetation when the weather is hot and dry.
Take action - what to do if you see a wildfire: If you see smoke, flames or an open fire violation, call 1 800 663-5555 or *5555 immediately.Take action, don't assume someone else will. Click here for step by step instructions on how to report a wildfire.