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Coastal Fire Centre reports on early statistics for region

“We want people to follow all the rules and regulations we ask people to follow when they are having a campfire." ~ Julia Caranci, fire information officer
BLAZES REPORTED: It’s early in the season but there have already been wildfires reported in the Coastal Fire Centre region, as well as the province. The Coastal Fire Centre is urging caution when setting open fires, even though there are currently no prohibitions.

Coastal Fire Centre has released statistics concerning wildfires in British Columbia and in its region.

From April 1 to May 12, there have been 182 wildfires in BC, and 14 wildfires in the Coastal Fire Centre region.

Provincially, these fires have burned 11,742 hectares, while in the Coastal Fire Centre region, seven hectares have burned.

The fire centre also provided a review of the 2022 wildfire season. Of the 297 fires provincially, 156 were human-caused, 134 were natural-caused and seven were undetermined.

Total area burned in 2022 was 22,172 hectares. There were three fires of note, two evacuation orders and two evacuation alerts. Fire suppression cost was $33.4 million.

Right now within the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, which is crown land, there are not any prohibitions in place. Category two and three fires and campfires currently have no prohibition.

“We are continuing to check our indices on a regular basis,” said Julia Caranci, fire information officer with Coastal Fire Centre. “At this time we are moving ahead with warmer and drier conditions so we will continue to check. For us, it’s a science-based decision based on checking our indices on a regular basis. We have not reached the point at this time where either of those two prohibitions would be enacted.”

Caranci said to clarify, within any local government area, there may be, and often are, bylaws that exist.

“What we cover is crown land, but people within any local government area must check in with their local government before burning because many of them have their own bylaws,” said Caranci. “We need people to check in and follow the regulations of their local government.”

Within the City of Powell River, burning is restricted to the months of April and November, and those who plan to burn require a permit from the city.

Caranci said the message Coastal Fire Centre wants to get out, moving to the May long weekend, and with the warmer temperatures, regardless of whether or not there are any prohibitions, is for people to use caution when having any kind of an open fire at this time.

“We want people to follow all the rules and regulations we ask people to follow when they are having a campfire,” said Caranci. “Go out and enjoy yourself, just be very responsible, and again, make sure you are allowed to have that open fire within the area you are in.”