The May-long weekend is approaching and many residents around the Peace River Region will probably be out participating in various outdoor recreational activities.

Yet, wildfires are a growing concern over the summer months and as people begin to spend more time outdoors.

Currently in the Peace Region, the fire rating is low to very low, but that can change within a day or two with some hot and dry weather, says Jill Chimko, fire information officer at the Prince George Fire Centre.

According to statistics released by the federal government, more than half of all fires are caused by people.

Chimko says that at the start of the season in B.C., almost all forest fires are human caused and the Province’s wildfire management branch will be especially vigilant over the long weekend, ensuring people put out their campfires and are careful with any yard clearing they may do.

She says anyone can be charged for costs associated with putting out a wildfire he or she started. People can also be charged for not reporting a wildfire or not having the necessary tools available for putting out a small fire. These tools include either eight litres of water or a firefighting hand tool.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, people should call *5555 on most cellular phones or 1-800-663-5555.

For more information on open fire restrictions or for updates on current wildfire activity, please visit the B.C. Wildfire website.