PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – The B.C. Wildfire Service is reminding residents of Northeast B.C., a category two and three open fires are prohibited.
The province-wide ban went into effect on April 16, 2020, to reduce the likelihood of human-caused wildfires, although campfires will still be allowed.
Although the fire danger rating remains anywhere from low to moderate in the Province, Rachelle Winsor with the Prince George Fire Centre says they are trying to reduce the risks associated with wildfire smoke and COVID-19. “As we all know, wildfire smoke is complex. It can create different pollutants that can affect lung health. When exposed to these pollutants, you are more likely to develop COVID-19 symptoms if you are immunocompromised.”
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The ban also helps reduce demands on firefighting resources and help protect the health and safety of the public, as well as B.C. Wildfire Service staff.
In Northeast B.C., the Wildfire Service has already responded to 60 incidents, including eight over the weekend. Of those 60 incidents, 24 have been wildfires. The number of hectares burned so far this season is five times more than last year, with 162 hectares burned compared to 30.
Farmers in the B.C. Peace do still have the ability to burn residual crops from 2019. Farmers must get a permit before burning. The Wildfire Service has issued 24 to date.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, please call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity and burning restrictions, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca