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HomeNews100 Mile HouseFire Centre Officially Opens For Season, Urges Caution With Outdoor Burning

Fire Centre Officially Opens For Season, Urges Caution With Outdoor Burning

Spring has arrived and the Information Section at the Cariboo Fire Centre has opened again for the 2016 fire season.

“The Cariboo Fire Centre actually runs year round, however at the beginning of March is when we start bringing back our seasonal employees,” says Fire Information Officer Emily Epp.

“At the beginning of March we had the first group of crew leaders arrive back and then next week we’ll have a bit more firefighters and slowly we build up our capacity, building for summer.”

Epp says through the spring season the Cariboo Fire Centre focuses on making sure that their equipment and training is up to date and doing community work educating the public how they can help prevent wildfires this coming season.

The Centre is urging the the public to exercise caution with any outdoor burning activities over the weekend and into the coming weeks given the current dry conditions.

While FireSmart activities are encouraged this time of year to reduce the risk of wildfires on private property, there is a safe way to conduct backyard burning.

Anyone wishing to light an open fire must watch for changing weather conditions and follow all burning regulations in order to reduce the number of preventable wildfires.

Even the spring season can present significant fire risks. The grass and small shrub layer is drying out quickly at lower elevations and in valley bottoms, due to increased temperatures, lack of precipitation and wind. Fires in these situations can spread very rapidly, especially when driven by wind.

In light of the conditions this spring, the public is also advised that restrictions on backyard burning and industrial burning may come into effect earlier than usual in the region this year.

Homeowners and industry personnel are encouraged to visit the BC Wildfire Service website – – consult the Homeowner’s FireSmart Manual and take the following precautions:

* Ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and prevent it from escaping.
* Do not burn during windy conditions. Weather conditions can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
* Create a fireguard at least one metre around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material.
* If you are planning a large burn, consider conducting smaller burns around the perimeter beforehand to create a fuel break and help stop the fire from spreading beyond its intended size. Each of these fires should be kept small and must be completely extinguished before starting a new fire.
* Never leave a fire unattended.
* Make sure that your fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before you leave the area for any length of time.

(With Files from Pat Matthews and Cariboo Fire Centre)


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