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Fire season begins in B.C.


Forest fires are an annual concern in British Columbia
Forest fires are an annual concern in British Columbia

Alexandra Pope, staff writer

May 2, 2011 — Forest officials in British Columbia are reminding the public to be careful with spring burning as fire season gets off to an active start.

The provincial wildfire management branch is reminding people to practice safe burning heading into fire season
The provincial wildfire management branch is reminding people to practice safe burning heading into fire season

Firefighters in the northwest of the province near Smithers responded to seven burning-related incidents over the Easter long weekend, including four grassfires.

Most of the fires were small, but one consumed seven hectares -- the equivalent of 14 football fields, the province's Wildfire Management Branch said in a statement.

The incident is a reminder of how quickly fires can spread, even when the weather is still cool. Windy and dry conditions make burning even more dangerous.

The province offers these tips for safe burning:

  • Never burn when it's windy, as the wind can carry embers and start new fires
  • Have water and other tools on hand to manage your fire
  • Monitor weather conditions; winds can pick up without warning
  • Ensure that all combustible materials are kept well away from your fire
  • Never leave your fire unattended; before leaving, douse fire with enough water to make ashes cool to the touch
  • Check with local burning bylaws before starting any kind of fire
  • Large-scale or industrial burning requires a permit from the province

For more information and notices on fire bans, visit the BC Wildfire Management Branch website.

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