While campfires and camping go hand-in-hand, there is the ever present danger of the smallest spark causing widespread damage to our pristine natural spaces. This week the Cariboo Fire Centre has issued fire bans prohibiting any type of open burning and campfires west of the Fraser River to reduce the risk of any further spread of wildfires in our region.
These actions were taken in order to ensure the risk of new fires caused by human activity is reduced and allows firefighters to focus their efforts in preventing and controlling fires already burning. Reality is, nearly half of all wildfires are caused by human activity, and these steps had to be taken to eliminate this risk.
Campfires are currently allowed east of the Fraser River, but extreme caution must be taken and can only take place where there are no bans are in place by municipal authorities. Any campfire must be under total control and completely extinguished before leaving your site. If your fire does escape, you could be liable for the cost of suppressing the fire and face other penalties.
For the latest up-to-date information on all current fire bans and listings of current wildfires burning, please visit bcwildfire.ca or Emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca for any information regarding evacuation alerts and info-bulletins. Report any wildfires calling 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on your cell.
Last but not least, I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to all of the men and women of the Cariboo Fire Centre who are protecting our communities against the dangers of wildfire as we speak. Our forest firefighters are doing a tremendous job and should be commended for their bravery and service to our province.
Last week, I was pleased to announce a land transfer at the Williams Lake Airport to allow both the airport and Cariboo Fire Centre have the land necessary to expand their facilities in the decades to come.
Coralee Oakes is the MLA for Cariboo North and is the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.