The Coastal Fire Centre is encouraging the public to exercise caution when doing any outdoor burning. Open burning restrictions will be in place later this spring, so now is a good time for residents to clean up their yards.
Almost all wildfires that start at this time of year are human-caused.
Homeowners and industry personnel are encouraged to visit the Wildfire Management Branch website (www.bcwildfire.ca/Prevention), consult the B.C. FireSmart manual and take the following precautions:
* Ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and prevent it from escaping.
* Do not burn during windy conditions. Weather conditions can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
* Create a fireguard at least one metre around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material.
* If you are planning a large burn, consider conducting smaller burns around the perimeter beforehand to create a fuel break and help stop the fire from spreading beyond its intended size. Each of these fires should be kept small and must be completely extinguished before starting a new fire.
* Never leave a fire unattended and make sure that your fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before you leave the area.
Before conducting a burn, check with your local fire department, municipality and regional district to see if any open burning restrictions or bylaws are in effect.