Local WildSafeBC Coordinator Danica Roussy is reminding residents to keep wildlife wild and communities safe over this B.C. Day long weekend.
“Camping is a great way to enjoy nature but [this is] just a reminder of the few simple [tips] you should follow to keep yourself, and the wildlife around you, safe from conflict,” said Roussy. “If you are going into the backcountry this weekend on a camping trip, please remember to always inspect your choice of camping area closely and make sure it is not in an area likely to be used by bears. It is best to keep camp away from waterways/travel routes for wildlife.”
Roussy recommends the following camping tips:
– Inspect the area around your campsite for signs of wildlife
– Never take food into your tent
– Cook in clothes other than your pyjamas
– Use bear-resistant strange options if any are provided by the campsite
– Do not feed wildlife, the feed will attract all types of animals from squirrels to bears. It may also be a place bears will remember to come back to in search of feed, which can lead to future human-wildlife conflict.
– Have bear spray on you when wandering off your campsite.
“If you find yourself enjoying the outdoors within City limits this weekend, remember that bears have an incredibly acute sense of smell and can smell the smallest item of food at great distances,” Roussy said.
Some of the things bears are attracted to include:
– Anything that we have cooked or are about to eat
– Dirty barbecues or camp stoves
– Any item associated with food prep or clean-up (dish rags, pots, pants, grey water)
– Garbage, wrappers, empty bottles and cans, condiments, or anything that has been in contact with food
– Containers for gas, oil, or other petroleum products
– Pet food, bowls, bird seed, compost, etc.
For more information, visit wildsafebc.com and check out the extensive bear safety pages. Also check out the WildSafeBC’s video vault for a bear spray demonstration with Provincial Coordinator Frank Ritcey.
Report any encounter with aggressive wildlife by calling the Conservation Officer Service at 1.877.952.7277.
And the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources and Rural Development reminds those heading out this weekend to do everything you can to prevent wildfires and assist firefighters.
The month of August is generally the most active part of B.C.’s wildfire season. Human-caused fires are preventable and unnecessarily divert crucial firefighting resources from naturally occurring wildfires.
Recreation boaters are reminded to stay clear of areas where firefighting aircraft are operating. And remember, the Southest Fire Centre is under a campfire ban.