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Be fire safe, not sorry, when you use your tools and toys in the bush

July 17, 2015 - 2:30 PM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - If you plan on being a lumberjack or ripping around on your ATV in the bush this weekend, B.C. Wildfire Management is asking you to take into account the fire risk before firing up a chainsaw or starting up the quad.

“If members of the public or industry personnel plan to do any land clearing within 300 metres of grassland or a forest they are responsible for taking measures to prevent a wildfire starting or spreading,” fire information officer Kayla Pepper says in a media release. “This also applies to the use of spark-producing machinery such as welders, mowers, chainsaws, grinders, power tools and any equipment that could strike a rock and create a spark."

Those working with equipment or doing this type of activity are required to have fire suppression methods available and keep a fire watch after completing activities with power tools she says, adding off-road vehicles should be checked for spark arrestors. All-terrain vehicles and motorcycles can also pose a fire risk.

Pepper says shutdown times apply to areas with a fire danger rating lasting longer than three consecutive days. If engaging in “high-risk activities” people should keep up to date on the current fire danger rating in their area. 

To check the fire danger rating for your area within the Kamloops Fire Centre click here. To see weather station data and shutdown advisories click here.

The centre prohibits campfires and open burning under the current risk rating. The ban includes fireworks, burning barrels, tiki torches, and sky lanterns. Propane campfires are permitted if they are CSA or ULC-approved. Cooking stoves including barbecues which use gas, propane or briquettes are permitted during a campfire ban. 

Staff with B.C. Wildfire say cool, wet weather is helping personnel with fire containment efforts.

There are currently 159 wildfires burning throughout the province.

Spokesperson Navi Saini says lightning is not forecast in the Kamloops Fire Centre today, but notes conditions can change quickly. She says the centre is keeping a close eye on holdover fires which could pop up this weekend and create need for initial attack. 

Of the 17 fires which started in B.C. yesterday, July 16, Saini says three were human-caused. 

"(Those fires) are a big concern because we don’t want to be tying up finite resources to respond to preventable wildfires," she says. 

To report smoke, open flames or a burning violation contact B.C. Wildfire at 1-800-663-5555 or dial *5555 on a cellphone.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at gbrothen@infonews.ca, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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