Spring fire precautions urged - InfoNews

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Spring fire precautions urged

Kamloops Fire Centre and the City of Kamloops are hoping to avoid a repeat of fires like this one at Peterson Creek last fall as the spring wildfire season begins.
March 28, 2013 - 12:21 PM

Following three fires just yesterday in the Kamloops zone, the Kamloops Fire Centre is urging people to take caution with all outdoor burning this spring.

The dried grass from last September is uncovered as the snow melts and can easily ignite, fire information officer Michaela Swan says, and if there is the slightest breeze the fire will quickly spread.

Swan says the region averages about 18 fires every spring (March/April) and all of them are related to open burning. In just the last week the fire centre has been called to four fires and all of them have been in the Kamloops zone.

At this time of year almost all wildfires are caused by people and Swan says they are “just asking people to take precautions.”

These precautions can include having enough people, water and tools on hand to control a fire, not burning in windy conditions and ensuring a fireguard is in place by clearing away combustible material.

Large scale industrial burning and grass burns over 0.2 hectares must obtain a burn registration number ahead of time by calling 1-888-797-1717. Those within the city or Tk'emlups te Secwepemc boundaries are only allowed to burn on properties of one acre or greater and must obtain a burn permit first from Fire Station No. 1 on Summit Drive (Kamloops residents) or at the band office of Chief Alex Thomas Way (reserve residents.)

Failure to obtain permits or for having an unsafe open fire can result in fines up to $100,000 and one year in jail under the Wildfire Act

The fire centre covers a large swath of land, from Valemount to the U.S.A. Border, west to almost Whistler and east to just before Revelstoke, for a total of 7.5 million hectares. The area is split in to seven zones.

To report a smoke or flames call 1-800-6635555 or *5555 from your mobile phone.

To contact a reporter for this story, email jstahn@infotelnews.ca or call (250) 819-3723.

News from © iNFOnews, 2013

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