VICTORIA – Increased fines for a variety of wildfire-related violation tickets came into force April 1. Anyone caught contravening specified open burning and campfire regulations could now face fines more than three times higher than last year’s penalties.
The B.C. government has been taking a tougher stand on irresponsible behaviour that contributes to increased wildfire risks, in an effort to protect communities, natural resources and infrastructure from wildfire damage.
The regulatory changes announced on March 10, 2016, significantly increase ticket fines for 19 different violations under the Wildfire Act and another seven violations under the Wildfire Regulation.
These changes mean that British Columbia now has some of the highest wildfire-related violation ticket fines in Canada. For example, the fine for not complying with a fire restriction under the Wildfire Act has tripled from $345 to $1,150. Failing to properly extinguish a burning substance, such as a cigarette, will now cost an offender $575.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
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Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson says, “This government has acted on behalf of all British Columbians to crack down on reckless behaviour that could put lives, communities and resources at risk. We encourage everyone to do the right thing this fire season by learning more about responsible fire use and making sure they follow the rules.”
* On average, 30 to 40% of wildfires in British Columbia each year are caused
* The 2015 fire season was one of the busiest and most expensive in recent
years, with over 283,400 hectares burned and over $278 million spent on