Info Bulletin: Public Urged to Use Caution When Outdoor Burning
For Immediate Release: April 15, 2021
Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
BC Wildfire Service
SMITHERS – The warmer weather and lower humidity levels throughout the Northwest Fire Centre are expected to last into next week. Given this weather trend, the BC Wildfire Service is urging people to be cautious when burning.
The forecast is calling for a drying trend across the Northwest Fire Centre, especially in the Nadina Fire Zone. As the temperature increases, burning conditions becoming more hazardous; and with windy conditions a grass fire can spread very quickly. Local winds are often strongest in the afternoon and also just as the sun is going down.
There are currently no open burning prohibitions in effect within the Northwest Fire Centre; however, BCWS staff are monitoring the situation very closely and could implement a fire prohibition within 48-72 hrs of the decision. Category 2 & 3 open fires (backyard burning and industrial burning) may be prohibited once an area is snow free. An open fire prohibition typically remains in place until the fire danger has decreased to an acceptable level as determined by NWFC staff.
As a reminder and to prevent human caused fires, it is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that burning is done in a safe manner and in accordance with regulations. Piles must only be lit when the venting index is favourable; it is advised to monitor the upcoming weather forecast and check with your local governments to see if any local burning restrictions are in place.
Anyone conducting an outdoor burn must adhere to the following precautions:
ensure adequate resources are on hand to control the fire and stop it from spreading
never burn in windy conditions. Weather conditions can change quickly, and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires
create an appropriately sized fireguard around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material, right down to the mineral soil
never leave a fire unattended
make sure that any fire is completely extinguished, and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time
BC Wildfire Service staff will be conducting a number of pile burning projects when weather conditions are favourable. Burning will only occur if weather conditions are suitable and allow smoke to dissipate. Staff from the BC Wildfire Service will monitor these fires at all times:
B.C. Wildfire Service and the Burns Lake Community Forest, five kilometres southwest of Burns Lake, 150 piles
Lund Road Subdivision, near Houston, 150 piles
B.C. Wildfire Service, in conjunction with the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia, 7.5 kilometres southwest of Houston, 150 piles
Mount Harry Davis, six kilometres north of Houston, 50 piles
The NWFC would like to remind all burn registration holders, both current and over the past winter, that there is always potential for winter burn piles to “holdover” until the spring. What this means is that burn piles can and do burn deep and smoulder until the spring when warm weather and snow free conditions allow these smouldering fires to become active and turn into a wildfire.
If a wildfire occurs as a result of your burning, you may be found responsible for the government’s fire control costs and any related damages to Crown resources. In addition, there are administrative penalties of up to $100,000 that may be levied for failing to comply with your obligations under the Wildfire Act and Regulation.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, call 1 888 3-FOREST, download the new BC Wildfire Service app, or visit www.bcwildfire.ca.
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