Open burning precautions urged in wake of Okanagan wildfire
The Anarchist Mountain volunteer fire department near Osoyoos, B.C. says it responded to the first wildfire of the season in its coverage area on Saturday afternoon.
The fire spread from several burn piles and is now under control, according to a news release issued by the department. The fire has been contained to 300 ft. by 300 ft.
Firefighters note that while open burning is still permitted until April 15, conditions are “extremely dry.”
“If you are burning, please ensure it is monitored closely. You are responsible for any burns you carry out,” the release says.
The BC Wildfire Service is also urging precaution as warmer weather arrives in the B.C. interior.
“To help reduce the number of preventable wildfires, people wanting to light an open fire must watch for changing weather conditions and follow all burning regulations,” it stated in a public safety memo issued on March 29.
Precautions include ensuring enough resources are on hand to control the fire and prevent it from escaping, not burning during windy conditions, create a fireguard around the planned fire site, and consider conducting smaller burns around the perimeter of the main fire site before lighting the main fire.
The wildfire service warns that if an open burn escapes and causes a wildfire, the person responsible may be held accountable for damages and fire suppression costs.
Anyone conducting an open burn must check local venting conditions before lighting any fire. If the venting conditions in the area are rated “poor” or “fair,” Category 2 or Category 3, open burning is restricted.
The venting index can be obtained by calling 1 888 281-2992 and is available online.
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