Campbell River fire chief is emphasizing the importance of being safe during fire season hot on the heels of a wildfire in Sayward and brush fires in Area D and on Quadra Island.
“It’s already starting to feel like summer, and as people gear up for camping and beach fires, we can’t say it enough: be careful out there during fire season,” says Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty.
“Following two years of record-breaking wildfire seasons in B.C., and lower than normal rainfall this year, we urge residents to remain extra vigilant when it comes to fire safety,” Chief Doherty says. “Making sure your camping or beach fire are fully extinguished is one of the most important ways to prevent a runaway blaze.”
Are you going camping or planning a beach fire? Make sure you bring along a bucket for transporting water to extinguish the fire before you leave, the chief says.
“So many people enjoy evenings sitting around a warm fire, and there are a number of beautiful beaches and campsites,” adds Doherty. “Recreational fires, including camping and beach fires, are currently permitted, but we need everyone to be careful to keep them contained.”
Here’s how to prepare and care for a recreational fire and the people around it:
• Do not light a fire or keep it burning in windy conditions. The wind may carry embers and spread the fire.
• Beach fires are not allowed on park land or private property (other than your own).
Always light beach fires below the high tide line.
• Recreational fires must not exceed 24 inches (60 centimetres) in diameter.
• Maintain a fireguard around the fire – a fuel-free area where all flammable materials (grass, kindling, driftwood, etc.) have been removed.
• Never leave a fire unattended.
• Be cautious when supervising kids near the fire. Teach kids how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing should catch fire.
• Keep a bucket of water nearby for extinguishing the fire.
• Make sure the fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area. An abandoned fire can become a dangerous and fast-moving blaze.
• Bonus beach bucket use: fill a bucket with water and use it to rinse sandy feet before getting the kids in the car.
Although recreational fires are currently permitted, during dry, hot conditions the Campbell River Fire Department may restrict or ban them. Always check local and provincial fire restrictions before lighting any fire.