The province of BC will be considering tougher penalties for human-caused fires, as the damage from over 200 current active wildfires mounts.
Cariboo Fire Centre Information Officer, Kelsey Winter says although nothing can be done when it comes to lightning, everything needs to be done when it comes to human-caused fires which are 100% preventable.
“Those are the fires we need to be able to stop,” she said.
“I know we have asked the public this year-we’re really pushing if you see anyone throwing out a cigarette butt to call the 1-800-663-5555 number (*5555 toll-free on most cellular networks) and when we get people reporting those numbers hopefully we’ll see a dramatic decrease in them as well.”
Winter says 49 of 133 fires within the Cariboo Centre this season are believed to be human-caused.
Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris, who will be heading the review, says some of the options he will be looking at include impounding the vehicles of people caught flicking lit cigarette butts out their windows and banning individuals from campsites and provincial parks for repeated violations.
Current fines range from $115 up to $100,000 and a year in jail if convicted of breaking a fire ban.
375 of the province’s 1,086 wildfires since April 1st have been human-caused, burning 44,000 hectares.