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Campfire patrols this weekendPosted: August 12, 2011

Never mind the fact that campers should always be well aware of their campfires and should never leave them unattended.

Never mind the fact that leaving your campsite without completely extinguishing your campfire is tantamount to absolute irresponsibility.

Despite the obvious, there remains a reason for fire wardens and fire officials to conduct campfire safety and compliance patrols this upcoming weekend in the Southeast Fire Centre, within which the East Kootenay lies.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (Southeast Fire Centre) announced earlier this week that these patrols will target high-risk areas and ensure enforcement within areas such as Boundary and Christina Lake, where 26 abandoned campfires have been found this season.

“Never leave your campfire unattended and remember what constitutes a legal campfire,” stated Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

Thomson noted that campfires are still allowed in the region “but I don’t want people to start being complacent just because we haven’t had a busy fire season.”

Fires can be no larger than a half-metre by a half-metre, and at least eight litres of water or hand tools must be nearby to properly extinguish them, Thomson advised.

Campers are reminded that failure to properly extinguish a campfire will result in a $345 fine. In addition, if their campfire escapes and causes a wildfire, they may be held liable for all resulting suppression costs and damages.

As of Friday, August 12, the fire danger rating is moderate to high throughout most of the Southeast Fire Centre region with a spot of extreme located in the Boundary area, west of the Kootenays.

Quick Facts:

* There are currently open burning restrictions within the Southeast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction. For information on burn restrictions, please visit:

http://bcwildfire.ca.

* Since April 1, the Southeast Fire Centre has responded to 72 wildfires, consuming a total of 39 hectares. Twenty-nine of those fires are confirmed as human-caused.

* A total of 127 campfire incidents have been reported in the Southeast Fire Centre. The five-year average for this time of year is 119.

* To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call *5555 on your cellphone or toll-free to 1 800 663-5555.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to:

http://www.bcforestfireinfo.gov.bc.ca

Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

 

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