Evening beach fires are a fun tradition for many in Campbell River, but several steps are needed to prevent them from possibly spreading out of control.
The Campbell River Fire Department is reminding residents to make fire safety a priority and follow all local and provincial open burning regulations when having a fire.
“Please use common sense and extreme caution with fires during dry summer conditions,” said Thomas Doherty, fire chief. “Making sure your campfire or beach fire is fully extinguished before you leave the area is one of the most important ways to prevent a fire from getting out of control. Human caused wildfires are entirely preventable.”
The fire department provides several tips to keep fires safe and lawful:
- Follow local bylaws and provincial regulations.
- Check there are no current fire bans before having a fire.
- If it is windy, do not start or continue a fire.
- Know beach fires are not allowed on parkland or private property (other than your own).
- Always light beach fires below the high tide line.
- Keep fires smaller than 24 inches (60 centimetres) in diameter.
- Maintain a fireguard — a fuel-free area where flammable materials, such as grass, kindling and driftwood, have been removed.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Supervise young children near the fire.
- Teach kids how to stop, drop and roll should their clothing catch fire.
- Have a bucket of water to extinguish the fire.
- Make sure the fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the tough before.
Small, recreational fires are now permitted as of June 23, but the Campbell River Fire Department may restrict them at any time.
However, the BC Wildfire Service has banned Category 2 and Category 3 open burning as of June 23.
Abandoned fires may be reported by calling the fire department’s non-emergency line at 250-286-6226. In an emergency, it is best to dial 9-1-1.