Hazy, smoke-filled skies from wildfires are fast becoming part of our summer landscape. According to the BC Wildfire Service, an astonishing 40% of wildfires are human caused, meaning they are totally preventable. British Columbia is known worldwide for its unparalleled beauty, including its irreplaceable old growth forests. There’s much we can do to reduce the risk of wildfire and its devastating effects. Let’s work together to protect our magnificent surroundings; to keep our landscape and communities safe and our skies clear.
Before you light any fire, it is crucial you check for firebans on the BC Wildfire Service website. You’ll find Fire Bans and Restrictions here.
If campfires are allowed in your zone, remove all twigs, leaves and other flammable material from the area; and never light a campfire when it is windy.
Keep a bucket of water of at least 8 litres near the fire, as well as a shovel to help extinguish the fire.
Don’t leave a campfire unattended; and completely extinguish your campfire before you go to sleep or leave the area for any amount of time.
Before you vacate your campsite, douse your campfire thoroughly with water; stir until the ash is wet and cold to the touch.
If you are an off-roading enthusiast, whether you’re in a car, truck, or ATV, please stay off dry grass: not only can exhaust can reach very high temperatures; but it just takes a spark to ignite a fire. Stay out of the back country when it’s hot and dry; carry a fire extinguisher and shovel in your vehicle.
Towing a trailer? Ensure your safety chains are properly in place and not dragging on the ground and producing sparks.
Don’t operate machinery that could produce sparks near dry vegetation.
Check fire bans and restrictions before shooting off fireworks; and never shoot off fireworks in dry conditions.
Never throw a cigarette butt on the ground; they start far too many fires.
Don’t interfere with firefighting efforts: if you fly a drone near or over a BC wildfire, you’re endangering firefighting personnel and breaking the law. Penalties include fines of up to $100,000 and/or up to a year in jail.
BC Wildfire Service: offers information such as current fire bans and restrictions, tips and wildfire prevention, and the status of current wildfires, including an interactive map.