People urged to avoid cutting firewood due to dry conditions

avoid cutting firewood

The public is strongly encouraged to postpone cutting firewood due to hot, dry conditions and an increased risk of wildfires within the Kamloops Fire Centre.

Since Sept. 1, crews have responded to some fires that may have been caused by power saws used to cut and buck-up firewood. As a precaution, people are requested to delay collecting wood until the fire risk decreases.

Those who still plan to cut firewood are reminded that it’s currently considered a high-risk activity across most of the Kamloops Fire Centre and subject to the following restrictions:

• All cutting must occur before 1 p.m.

• A “fire watcher” must remain on site for a minimum of two hours after cutting is completed.

Cutting firewood is prohibited in those areas where the fire danger rating has hit extreme for more than three consecutive days. Failure to comply with a restriction can result in a $345 fine. Anyone who causes a wildfire through arson or recklessness may be fined up to $1 million and held responsible for suppression costs.

“We’ve had a reasonably quiet wildfire season. Let’s keep it that way, and postpone cutting firewood until the wildfire risk decreases,” said Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson.

Since April 1, crews have responded to 226 wildfires within the Kamloops Fire Centre, and more than 60 per cent of the fires were the result of human carelessness.