Here in the Cariboo, we are lucky to have so many wonderful places to camp. Whether it’s scenic Lac La Hache Provincial Park, wild Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, or one of our local resorts, the Cariboo really is one of the most beautiful places in the world to spend a night under the stars.
Campfires are a natural part of camping, but when we build them, we need to remember that safety is important. Unfortunately summer is not just camping season, it is also wildfire season. There have been several fires in the northwest region of our province, and B.C. Wildfire Management personnel have recently been deployed further north to help with forest fires in Alaska, the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories.
That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have campfires, but we do need to remember that wildfires can be dangerous. People are responsible for about half of the wildfires in B.C., so when we have campfires there are certain precautions we need to take to stay safe.
When you build a campfire, make sure you choose your campsite carefully. Get rid of all the flammable material nearby — leaves, twigs, or anything else that may burn. Use the fire pit provided on your campsite or make a ring of rocks around the place you’re building your fire, and choose a spot at least 3 meters from trees, vegetation, or structures. Don’t leave your fire unattended at any point, and make sure it is completely extinguished before you leave or go to sleep; to put it out, douse the fire in water and make sure there are no embers left.
If you’re out camping and you see a wildfire call 1-800-663-5555, or *5555 on your cellular phone to report it. Take the time to learn more about fire safety at bcwildfire.ca/prevention, and have a safe, fun, camping trip this summer.
Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin.