“It’s important to respect the use of fire,” says Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson. “Once you start a campfire, you are legally responsible for making sure it doesn’t escape and that it is completely extinguished before you leave the area.”
The Ministry has the following tips for safe campfire use:
* Always find out if any open burning prohibitions are in effect on the Wildfire Management Branch website: www.bcwildfire.ca
* If campfires are allowed in your area, bring a shovel or keep at least eight litres of water nearby to properly extinguish your campfire.
* Campfires cannot be larger than 0.5 metres in height and 0.5 metres in diameter.
* Do not light a campfire or keep it burning in windy conditions.
Weather can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
* You must maintain a one-metre fireguard around the campfire. This is a fuel-free area where all flammable materials (grass, kindling, etc.) have been removed.
* Never leave a campfire unattended.
* Make sure that the campfire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time. Also ensure that cigarette butts are properly extinguished and are not tossed away carelessly.
* You may be held accountable for damages and fire suppression costs if your negligence results in a wildfire.