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October 22, 2017 9:22 pm

Be Safe with Weekend Burning Cautions PG Fire Centre

Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 11:21 AM

Prince George, B.C. – With a warm and sunny weekend in the forecast, the Prince George Fire Centre is reminding campers to be safe with their burning.

“Even though we’ve had some significant amounts of precipitation we are going into a drying trend with warm weather and it doesn’t take long for forest fuels to dry out,” says fire information officer Amanda Reynolds. “So, we’re just asking people to take all the precautions when doing any open burning and having a campfire this long weekend.”

The 2015 Little Bobtail Lake fire – photo courtesy Wildfire Management Branch

She says those precautions include:

  • Making sure your campfire is not larger than half a metre high by half a metre wide;
  • Making sure you never light a campfire in windy conditions as wind may carry embers to other combustible materials;
  • Never leave a campfire unattended;
  • Making sure you’ve got a shovel or at least eight litres of water available to properly extinguish your campfire.

In light of the fact most fires this time of year are human-caused, Reynolds also reminds campers that anyone who lights a campfire is legally responsible for making sure it doesn’t escape.

“They could be held accountable for damages and fire suppression costs if they’re negligence results in a wildfire.”

Year over year though she says it’s been a comparatively slow start to the wildfire season in the Prince George Fire Centre.

“As of May 18, there have been only 14 wildfires that have burned just 42 hectares of forest,” says Reynolds. “Last year at this time there were 116 fires burning 83,095 hectares.”

Despite the slow start, she says wildfire personnel keep themselves busy with other tasks.

“They do a lot of training – for example chainsaw training – and project work like prescribed burns and fire management,” says Reynolds. “They also do projects with BC Parks and other groups.”

To report a wildfire, call toll-free 1-800-663-5555 or star 5555 on your cell phone.

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