The haze that has been hanging over the sky for the last couple of weeks is a constant reminder that wildfires are still raging across much of B.C. Especially at this time in the year, fire prevention is critical and practicing responsible habits is simple and something anyone can do while outdoors. See below.
Regularly clear your roof and gutters of debris. Place combustibles including woodpiles and propane tanks at least 10 metres away from the house. Keep lawns mowed and remove dead leaves, tree needles, branches and other flammable vegetation. Consider installing fire-resistant equipment like a spark arrestor for a chimney to prevent the escape of floating embers.
Last month, a province-wide campfire ban was put into effect that will last until Oct. 21, meaning no burning of piled material for recreational purposes. Fireworks and torches are also prohibited.
Unless current restrictions change, cooking stoves and portable fire bowls utilizing liquid or gas fuel are still permitted, flames not to exceed 15 centimetres. If the unit is used on the ground, place atop a non-combustible surface like soil, gravel, or sand. Turn off when not attended. Maintain an adequate fuel break (perimeter free of flammable materials).
Never toss cigarette butts out of a car windows, which when coming in contact with dry grass can easily start a brush fire. Hot exhaust pipes from an automobile or motorcycle can also be a catalyst, so avoid parking in tall grass or vegetation.
Report any wildfire, violations or other irresponsible behaviour by calling the BC Wildfire Service at 1-888-663-5555 or texting *5555 from a cellphone and providing pertinent such as location and rate of spread. For information about current wildfires, visit the website.