VICTORIA, B.C. – The BC Wildfire Services is urging British Columbians to be safe this long weekend. With the return of warm weather, it means that the risk of wildfires increases.

The start of the wildfire season this year may have been quieter than usual, but August is typically the most active month for wildfires in B.C.

It’s essential that British Columbians and any visitors remain vigilant and make sure that they are practicing fire safety.

Human-caused fires are preventable and can divert crucial firefighting resources from naturally occurring wildfires.

From April 1 to July 29, 2020, the BC Wildfire Service responded to 239 wildfires throughout the province, around 85 percent of those fires were associated with human activity.

Campfires are currently allowed in all areas of the province that fall under the BC Wildfire Service’s jurisdiction. Still, people are urged to use caution and keep enough water closeby to extinguish the fire when needed fully.

Larger Category 2 and Category 3 open fires are still prohibited in some regions in the province. Stay up to date with open fire bans on the BC Wildfire website and make sure to check local governments and jurisdictions as they may have their burning restrictions or bylaws in place.

If someone is found in violation of an open-burning prohibition, they could be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the violation causes or contributes to a wildfire, that person may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.