Cariboo Fire Centre warns of volatile, wildfire conditions

The Cariboo Fire Centre is reminding the public to be safe with fire use — especially in the Chilcotin.

The Cariboo Fire Centre is reminding the public to be safe with fire use — especially in the Chilcotin where dry, volatile wildfire conditions exist.

Last week the fire danger rating for the Chilcotin was increased to high.

Two new fires, each less than one hectare in size, started in the Chilcotin during the weekend,  said fire information officer Greig Bethel.

Of the 44 fires in the Cariboo Fire Region in 2013, all were started by humans, and therefore preventable.

Bethel reminded the public an open burning prohibition is in effect for the entire Cariboo Fire Centre region.

The prohibition bans all backyard and industrial burning, including waste, slash, stubble and grass.

Campfires are still permitted, but they must be kept under a half-metre by half-metre in size.

Cook stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes are also OK.

Anyone found in contravention of the prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345 or, if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail.

If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all fire fighting and associated costs.

Eight warning and violation tickets have already issued, Bethel noted.

He added this week the Cariboo Fire Centre will be on the lookout for  thunderstorms and lightning strikes especially in Chilcotin and Cariboo Mountains.

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