“Summer is here and as people gear up for beach and campfires, we can’t say it enough: be careful out there during fire season,” says Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty. “Making sure your camp or beach fire is fully extinguished is one of the most important ways to prevent a runaway blaze.”
Whether you’re camping, at the beach, or in your own backyard, you need to have a quick and easy way to put out the fire.
“Many people enjoy evenings sitting around a warm fire, and there are a number of beautiful beaches and campsites in the area,” adds Doherty. “Recreational fires, including camping and beach fires, are currently permitted, but we need everyone to do their part to keep them contained.”
The fire department is often called to extinguish abandoned fires. These can quickly turn into a fast-moving brush or forest fire. It’s important for everyone to follow the rules and use extra caution, especially during dry conditions.
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 parkland 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.
Report abandoned fires by calling the fire department’s non-emergency line at 250-286-6266. If it is an emergency, dial 9-1-1.
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.
For more information on fire safety visit www.campbellriver.ca/fire. Find provincial fire ban information here http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp