Human-caused wildfires are preventable say Southeast Fire Centre
Humans are making it a very difficult start to the 2015 wildfire season says the Southeast Fire Centre in a media release.
“Since April 1, 2015, the Wildfire Management Branch has responded to 39 wildfires in the Southeast Fire Centre,” said the release.
“Of those fires, 34 were human-caused and therefore preventable.”
The Southeast Fire Centre said these incidents serve as reminders for people to remain vigilant when riding recreational vehicles or operating farm, lawn and silviculture equipment (e.g. chainsaws and brush saws), particularly when there is a heightened wildfire risk.
“They must ensure that they have a plan in place to extinguish any fire that may occur.”
Backcountry enthusiasts are advised riding all-terrain vehicles can produce an enormous amount of heat and their exhaust systems can easily ignite grass or brush. ATV’s should not be parked on grass or other areas where hot parts of the machine are close to combustible materials.
“These types of equipment can also cause fires by coming into contact with rocks or other spark-producing materials during normal operation,” the release said.
“They should have spark arresters installed to prevent sparks escaping from the exhaust system.”
The Wildfire Management Branch reminds the public that smoking materials, such as cigarette butts, should not be thrown out of vehicles but instead be extinguished in an interior ashtray. When in forested areas or grasslands, it is crucial to fully extinguish any such materials and dispose of them properly to help prevent human-caused wildfires.
The Wildfire Management Branch would like to thank the public for continuing to take appropriate precautions when using other heat sources such as campfires, outdoor stoves and barbecues.
With lightning sparking wildfires in parts of the Southeast Fire Centre over the weekend, it is vital that Wildfire Management Branch personnel remain available to respond to these types of incidents and not be tied up fighting human-caused fires.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca