Let’s prevent wildfires

Everyone needs to be FireSmart at this time of year

August is typically the busiest month of the year for wildfires in British Columbia.

Even with the rain we have experienced the past couple of months, we all have to be careful in the forests and interface areas.

The forests dry quickly in hot and windy conditions, so when a campfire ban was put in place on the Coastal Region this week, it signalled the fire danger ratings will likely jump up throughout much of the Interior.

Now, we have to be extremely vigilant by making sure folks know there is significant concern about wildfires in our interface areas as there are fires near us.

Smokers need to be very careful with their cigarettes and other smoking materials, which must be completely extinguished.

Like campfires, they have to be checked to ensure they are not warm to the touch.

Mother Nature has tossed hundreds of lightning strikes at us recently and they have sparked several new, but small, wildfires.

The largest of these naturally occurring fires in the Cariboo Fire Centre (CFC) zone are relatively small.

Fortunately, the accompanying precipitation helped keep the fires small and firefighters have responded quickly, so that has helped keep the fires in check throughout most of the CFC region.

However, the temperatures are climbing and it have been very warm at night, so if a wildfire gets going, there won’t be any cooling down overnight.

More thunderstorms are very possible as weather systems can collide with each other and cause weather problems.

While the accompanying rainfall or showers dampen the ground cover, it doesn’t take long for it to evaporate and then we’re back to tinder dry conditions in some areas.

There is little we can do about these natural wildfires, but there were a half dozen human-caused fires during the same timeframe.

This is where the general public can stop wildfires from occurring through preventive measures.

There is no open burning or campfires allowed in our area, so we should not be lighting them, but we should be vigilant about making sure our cigarettes are crushed out.

If we see family, friends and neighbours carrying out prohibited burning or carelessly tossing out lit cigarettes, we should remind them of the dangers.

If we don’t have that friendly talk, then we’re culpable and deserving of blame as if we’re actually participating in the act.

To report a wildfire, prohibited campfire or open burning, call 1-800-663-5555 toll free or *5555 on our cell phones.

Anyone caught breaking a fire ban can be fined $345.

If the fire escapes and causes a wildfire, the person who caused it may be convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail.