July 06, 2013 - 5:00 AM
PENTICTON - Drying forest fuels and grasslands means fire danger ratings are likely to increase across most of B.C.
The ratings are mostly moderate or low, but are already high in some areas, B.C. Wildfire states. Small campfires are permitted throughout the province so long as campers follow campfire rules.
Campers should check if there are any open burning prohibitions in the area they wish to camp in by checking with the Wildfire Management Branch website. Fire departments and communities might also have fire prohibitions in place.
Shovels and at least eight litres of water should be kept nearby to extinguish a campfire which can be no larger than 0.5 metres in height and 0.5 metres in diameter. If it's windy don't light a campfire or keep it burning. Embers can drift and ignite distant combustible materials.
The immediate area around a campfire must be fuel-free. No grass, kindling, etc. Is the fire out when you leave? Make sure it's extinguished. Ashes should be cold to the touch.
Remember there is a financial cost if a person is found responsible for starting a wildfire. A person may be held accountable for damages and fire suppression costs. Breaking the rules could result in a $345 ticket, or, if convicted in court, a fine up to $100,000 and a year in jail. If the screw up starts a wildfire there could be a fine of $10,000 and an order to pay all the firefighting costs.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or call *5555 on your cellphone.
A factsheet on wildfire prevention is available online.
Additional fire prevention tips are on the Wildfire Management Branch website.
A map showing the latest fire danger ratings for B.C. is available.
Information about the FireSmart program.
You can also follow the latest wildfire news on Twitter and on Facebook.
To contact a reporter for this story, to send photos or videos, email Shannon Quesnel at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 250-488-3065 or tweet @shannonquesnel1
If people are cautious with the use of fire we won't have scenes like this as the region dries out and fire hazards rise in the Interior.
(CHARLOTTE HELSTON /InfoTel Multimedia)
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013