Abandoned campfire starts wildfire near Horsefly Lake; caution urged heading into Labour Day weekend

A wildfire sparked last weekend from an abandoned campfire serves as a reminder to use caution with all outdoor activities and campfires.

  • Sep. 3, 2015 11:00 a.m.

A wildfire sparked last weekend from an abandoned campfire serves as a reminder to use caution with all outdoor activities and campfires this upcoming Labour Day weekend.

On the Aug. 29-30 weekend, the BC Wildfire Service responded to four new human-caused wildfires in the Cariboo Fire Centre.

One of those was from the abandoned campfire.

This wildfire, located at Suey Bay on Horsefly Lake, was discovered on Sunday, Aug. 30.

Thanks to reports from the public, crews were able to respond quickly and contained the fire at 1.5 hectares.

Thirteen firefighters and a helicopter are on site today (Thursday) to extinguish any remaining hot spots.

This wildfire is under investigation and the BC Wildfire Service is asking the public for assistance.

Anyone with information about suspicious activity around the Suey Bay Recreation Site on the weekend is encouraged to call BC Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 or submit a web tip at www.bccrimestoppers.com.

Although campfire bans have been lifted throughout most of B.C., they remain prohibited west of the Fraser River within the Cariboo Fire Centre’s jurisdiction.

If campfires are allowed in your area, always ensure your campfire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cool to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

Campfires must not be larger than .5 metres high by .5 metres wide.

Patrols will be conducted throughout the Labour Day weekend to ensure people are complying with provincial legislation related to campfire use and open burning.

The Compliance and Enforcement Branch and the Conservation Officer Service patrolled 186 campsites within the Cariboo Fire Centre last weekend.

Two tickets were issued, for an oversized campfire and for an abandoned campfire.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail.

If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

To report a wildfire, abandoned campfire or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or dial *5555 on a cellphone.

For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit www.bcwildfire.ca or call 1-888-3-FOREST.

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