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PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — The BC Wildfire Service is urging the public to exercise caution with any outdoor burning this upcoming Thanksgiving Long Weekend.

Officials at the Prince George Fire Centre say that the current weather forecast is calling for increased winds for the next several days across the entire Prince George Fire Centre, which includes the Peace River and Fort Nelson regions. Winds of up to 50km/h, with gusts of up to 80km/h can be expected in some areas, with abrupt wind-direction changes.

Anyone wishing to light an open fire must watch for changing weather condition, follow all burning regulations in order to reduce the number of preventable wildfires and take the following precautions:

  • Ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and prevent it from escaping.
  • Do not burn during windy conditions. Weather conditions can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
  • Create a fireguard at least one metre around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material.
  • If you are planning a large burn, consider conducting smaller burns around the perimeter beforehand to create a fuel break and help prevent the fire from spreading beyond its intended size. Each of these fires should be kept small and must be completely extinguished before starting a new fire.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Make sure that your fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to touch before you leave the area for any length of time.

If an open burn escapes and causes a wildfire, the person responsible may be held accountable for damages and fire suppression costs. It is the responsibility of that individual to ensure that burning is done in a safe manner, and in accordance with regulations and any current burning restrictions.

For more information about safe open burning practices, check the BC Wildfire Service website: www.gov.bc.ca/wildfirebans

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