The BC Wildfire Service is encouraging people to stay safe during the long weekend and prevent human-caused wildfires.
214 wildfires have burned around 2,147 hectares of land in B.C. from April 1 to May 19, according to the BC Wildfire Service in a press release Thursday.
The organization also says of those fires, about 79 per cent (168 fires) were caused by people.
BC Wildfire Service also says on average, 40 per cent of wildfires are caused by human activity each year.
“I hope British Columbians enjoy the Victoria Day long weekend, but I also encourage them to use caution with any activity that could spark a wildfire,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development in the press release. “Human-caused wildfires are completely preventable and can unnecessarily divert firefighting resources naturally occurring wildfires.”
The province is reminding people that campfires have certain requirements to stay safe during the drier seasons:
- A fire can’t be taller than 0.5 metres in height or 0.5 metres in diameter.
- Have either a shovel or eight litres of water at all times while the fire is burning.
- Have a “fuel break” around the fire where combustible materials like dry leaves and sticks are removed.
- Make sure the fire is cool to the touch before you leave.
The Province says violating campfire regulations could result in a $1,150 fine.
It is also asking homeowners to make their homes FireSmart by removing dry needles from lawns, cutting back low hanging branches and cleaning gutters.
All-terrain vehicles also need a spark arrestor (a device that prevents hot carbon particulates in the engine from exiting the exhaust) installed if they are riding within 300 metres of forested land.