The Prince George Fire Centre says escaped grass fires are the most common form of unnecessary, human-caused fires at this time of year. The Centre is asking residents to use caution when grass burning this spring.
To date this season, the Province has responded to 87 person-caused fires, which have burned more than 435 hectares of forests and grass land. These fires can be easily prevented if proper burning precautions are followed.
Despite the cool temperatures, conditions in many areas could be quite dry. Before starting, residents should check with local government agencies for current burning bylaws.
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A fuel-free zone must be around a burn area to prevent grass fires from escaping. Fire sites must be away from buildings, trees and combustible materials.
The Centre says water, people and hand tools must be readily available to prevent a fire from escaping. Residents are required to be aware of windy conditions that can spread sparks, and to never leave a fire unattended until it is completely out.
A burn registration number is required for all burns exceeding 0.2 hectares (more than 2,000 square meters) and can be attained free of charge by calling 1-888-797-1717.
The Province deems a person legally responsible when using a fire on, or within one kilometer of, forest land or grassland. If a grass fire does escape, a person may be responsible for fire suppression costs.
Wildfires or unattended campfires can be reported by calling 1-800-663-5555 *5555 on most cell phones.
For further details on safe backyard burning, visit www.bcwildfire.ca/Restriction/BackyardBurning.pdf.