Wildfire Season Could Begin Early
Prince George, B.C. – The BC Wildfire Service is gearing up for the 2017 fire season and in fact is already urging people in the Northwestern part of the province to use caution when doing any outdoor burning.
The Wildfire Service responded to 79 fires that charred over 14,000 hectares in April 2016 and, given the potential for similar weather conditions this spring, the Northwest Fire Centre is preparing for an early start to the fire season. The Bulkley Valley and Lakes areas are experiencing below-normal snowpack levels and some areas are already snow-free. As the snow that remains melts, it will not take long for the grass to dry out and become flammable, especially in windy conditions.
Currently, no fire prohibitions are in place for the Northwest Fire Centre. However, people wishing to light an open fire must watch for changing weather conditions and follow all burning regulations to reduce the number of preventable wildfires. The Northwest Fire Centre extends from the Yukon Territory border in the north to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the south, and from the Pacific Ocean and Alaska border in the west to just east of Endako.
Before conducting any burn, check with the local fire department, municipality and regional district to find out if any open burning restrictions or bylaws are in effect.
Anyone planning to do any large-scale industrial burning or conduct a grass burn larger than 0.2 hectares (Category 3 fires) must obtain a burn registration number ahead of time (at no charge) by calling 1 888 797-1717. Burn registration numbers are entered in the Open Fire Tracking System, which allows the BC Wildfire Service to track open burning activity throughout B.C.: http://ow.ly/Wdip306frpN
A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online: http://ow.ly/znny309kJv5