Restricted burning begins

It’s that time of year again as the burning restrictions on open fires are just around the corner.

It’s that time of year again as the burning restrictions on open fires are just around the corner.

Starting May 2 at noon, open fires will be restricted within the Cariboo Fire Centre’s jurisdiction and will remain in effect until Sept. 30. Placing restrictions on open fires is a way to help prevent wildfires caused by humans and keep the public safe.

Already this month, our region has had 11 human-caused fires as the dry conditions the Cariboo traditionally experience have arrived. Human-caused wildfires are preventable and we have to make sure we are doing everything possible to keep our parks and forests safe here in northern B.C.

The ban specifically prohibits the burning of piles larger than one metre by one metre, the burning of any grass or stubble areas, and the use of burning barrels or fireworks is not permitted during this time.

Although these restrictions may inconvenience some of us, it’s important to remember that they are for our own good and the greater safety of our region.

The rules are strictly enforced as well, so be sure to take precautions when burning during the dry season.

Penalties and fines for unauthorized and unsafe burning can be issued for $345 at the scene and up to $100,000 and a year in jail if convicted in court. This may seem extreme. However, a wildfire can devastate forests, wildlife and ecosystems and this government is dedicated to protecting our resources.

So please take care when burning, or around open fires this season. If you have any questions or concerns, it’s always better to make sure you’re within the rules before you strike that match. Not only to keep yourself out of trouble, but for the health and wellness of our northern forests and the safety of our friends and neighbours.

For more information please visit: www.bcwildfire.ca.

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin.

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