May 18, 2016 - 6:30 PM
VICTORIA - Forests Minister Steve Thomson says he's preparing to take swift action this summer when it comes to issuing camp fire bans, with this long weekend being one of the few holidays where the fires are allowed across British Columbia.
Thomson says his ministry is lowering the threshold for the criteria it uses to impose camp fire bans in an effort to prevent forest fires in an already dry season.
He says camp fires are permitted across the province for the Victoria Day weekend, which traditionally marks the start of camping season, but people should be prepared for more bans as the summer progresses.
Thomson says he believes the public supports camp fire bans because they prevent forest fires.
He says ministry experts rely on detailed weather information to decide when to issue camp fire bans, but he expects the decisions to come quicker and sooner.
Penalties for violating camp fire bans start with fines of $345, but can result in fines up to $100,000 and one year in jail.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016