The Cariboo Fire Centre is urging caution with outdoor burning.
Natasha Broznitsky is a fire information officer at the Centre.
“One result of the wetter weather we had last year is that it was a really good growing season for grass and we now have an abundance of long, cured grass in some areas as the snow is melting. So unlike green grass, cured grass can dry out very rapidly with warm, dry weather.”
If an open burn escapes and causes a wildfire, the person responsible may be held accountable for damages and fire suppression costs.
Anyone wishing to light an open fire must take the following precautions:
- Ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and prevent it
- 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.
- Always check the venting conditions before conducting an open burn. If venting conditions are rated poor or fair, open burning is restricted.
Before conducting any open burn, people should check with their local fire department, municipality and regional district to ensure that no open burning restrictions or bylaws are in effect.
Anyone planning to do any large-scale industrial burning, conduct a grass burn over 0.2 hectares, or concurrently burn three or more piles no larger than two metres high by three metres wide (Category 3 fires) must obtain a burn registration number ahead of time by calling 1-888-797-1717.