Given the current dry conditions, the Cariboo Fire Centre is encouraging the public to exercise caution with any outdoor burning activities over the weekend and into the coming weeks.
“While FireSmart activities are encouraged this time of year to reduce the risk of wildfires on private property, there is a safe way to conduct backyard burning,” the CFC said in a press release.
“Anyone wishing to light an open fire must watch for changing weather conditions and follow all burning regulations in order to reduce the number of preventable wildfires.”
Even the spring season can present significant fire risks.
The grass and small shrub layer is drying out quickly at lower elevations and in valley bottoms, due to increased temperatures, lack of precipitation and wind. Fires in these situations can spread very rapidly, especially when driven by wind.
In light of the conditions this spring, the public is also advised that restrictions on backyard burning and industrial burning may come into effect earlier than usual in the region this year.
However, within the city limits backyard burning is prohibited, said Williams Lake Fire Department Chief Des Webster.
“Because of the weather people caught in contravention of the bylaw will be fined,” Webster said, noting the only burning allowed is through the use of commercially made fire pits.
Residents can expect to see some prescribed burns conducted by the fire department possibly during the last two weeks of March and into April.
Once those days and areas of the city are set, the fire department will alert the public, Webster said.
– With files from the Cariboo Fire Centre.