People just aren’t getting it.
BC Conservation Officer Service members issued 42 tickets for unlawful campfires over the B.C. Day long weekend, for a total of $48,500 in fines. The Ministry of Environment released the information to Black Press Media on Thursday.
This was despite campfire bans in place province-wide, save for the Prince George fire centre and some areas of northern B.C.
Sea to Sky COs issued 13 violation tickets for illegal campfires over the long weekend. Fines issued totalled $14,950. Most of the campfires were found in the Squamish Valley.#seatosky #squamish pic.twitter.com/2yM5hkGgdd
— BC CO Service (@_BCCOS) August 7, 2018
Crews are currently battling more than 460 wildfires in B.C., scattered throughout every region.
Each year, 42 per cent of all forest fires are caused by people using campfires, vehicle sparks, fireworks and more.
Anyone found breaking the bans can be issued a ticket for $1,150 and may be required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000. If convicted in court, the fine can reach up to $100,000 and and be paired with one year in jail.
If breaking the rules causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
This weekend, the BC Wildfire Service has set a fire danger rating of high to extreme for the entire province, which means that new fires will start easily, spread rapidly and challenge fire suppression efforts.