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Human caused fires becoming a major concern in Kimberley

Fire Department responded to several incidents over the weekend
Conditions in the forest around Kimberley are very dry. (Kimberley Fire Department)

On Saturday, June 24th at 10:07 a.m., the Kimberley Fire Department duty officer was notified of an unattended fire pit in the Lois Creek trail area. Two Fire department members extinguished the campfire and dismantled the fire pit.

Shortly afterwards at 11:57 a.m. Fire Department personnel were notified of a brush fire in forest just north of Forest Crowne. Ten crew members responded and extinguished the fire after working for nearly four hours. This fire was started by the use of a bear banger that was shot towards a retreating black bear.

Monday June 26th at 7:49 a.m., the Fire Department was dispatched to the trail area behind Alpine Crescent. A diligent citizen had found a patch of grass on fire and extinguished most of it himself. Upon investigation it was found that fabric had been tied in to a tree and lit on fire to possibly illuminate a bike trail drop off. Embers from the burning fabric appear to have ignited the grass below.

If you are using the forest it is vitally important that you use these areas responsibly, says Kimberley Fire Chief Rick Prasad. “

All three of these cases could have easily resulted in major fires right in our own back yards. It may look green out there but we have had very little precipitation to moisten the soil. Runoff in these lower elevation areas had occurred months ago and now the ground duff is tinder dry. These conditions combined with irresponsible behaviour are definitely causing us some trouble.”

There are legal implications for people that act irresponsibly. Wildfire-related violations such as not complying with a fire restriction under the Wildfire Act has a fine of $1,150 and failing to properly extinguish a burning substance, such as a cigarette can cost an offender $575. There are also provisions where the person responsible in a high-loss fire can be penalized up to $1,000,000 and face imprisonment.

Carolyn Grant

About the Author: Carolyn Grant

I have been with the Kimberley Bulletin since 2001 and have enjoyed every moment of it.
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