At least 14 illegal fires set between Chilliwack and Hope this month

Conservation officers are fed up with people not listening to the province-wide fire ban

The acting conservation sergeant for White Rock to Boston Bar is speaking out about the amount of illegal fires he’s witnessed in the Fraser Valley this month.

“We’ve charged 14 people over the last three weekends,” said conservation officer, Don Stahl. “We’re finding that the message doesn’t seem to be getting out to everyone as people are still willing to risk being charged (for starting fires).”

Starting last month, most of British Columbia was placed under a fire ban due to high temperatures and no forecast of rain: this means no open burning or campfires.

RELATED: Illegal campfires prompt $48,000 in fines over B.C. Day weekend

“This means no tiki torches, no binary targets, no fireworks,” said Stahl. “Propane fires are allowed as long as they’re CSA-approved.”

But people aren’t listening, so in addition to their regular shifts, conservation officers from both Nanaimo and Maple Ridge have volunteered to make the trek to the Fraser Valley to lend a hand.

“They handle other calls during the day, and after a short break they do another shift at night,” Stahl continued. And it’s during those night shifts that Stahl says they’re finding a large amount of illegal fires.

“These fires are all on Crown forests, and all outside of campgrounds. Some of these fires are even underneath trees, which is very concerning,” added the 20-year conservation officer.

If you’re caught starting a fire, feeding it, or even sitting around it, Stahl says you can be issued a fine for up to $1,150 and your name will be entered into the conservation database.

“Every stop we run their names through the database, and if it’s there, it’s probably not going to be just a ticket,” said Stahl. “We’ll ask for a court appearance” where a judge can impose a heftier fine, or possibly levy criminal charges.

If you witness any illegal burning activity, you’re urged to call the Report All Polluters and Poachers (RAPP) hot-line at 877-952-7277 and make an anonymous report.


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Children of the Japanese Canadian internment return to Tashme, for museum expansion

A replica of a tar paper shack and education space part of Sunshine Valley Tashme Museum expansion

20-bed emergency shelter to open in Hope in October

Supportive housing also planned for two lots on Old Hope Princeton Way, adjacent to the shelter

Fraser River First Nations say they aren’t getting their share of sockeye

Shortage is a result of decisions made by DFO, not a shortage of sockeye, complaint says

PHOTOS: Japanese-Canadians who built Highway 3 forever remembered with Mile 9 sign

A lesser-known part of B.C. history is the 1,700 Japanese-Canadian men who built highways in WWII

Hope arm-wrestler turned track and field star wins five medals at 55+ Games

Seven medals total coming back to Hope from golf and track and field events

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Premier John Horgan ponders debate on voting system changes

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson wants one-on-one, no Green

Saganash drops F-bomb in Commons over federal approach to Trans Mountain

NDP’s reconciliation critic accused federal government of ‘wilfully’ violating constitutional duties

VIDEO: B.C. dairy farmer says Trump doesn’t understand the industry

‘They need supply management just as bad as we need to keep it’: sixth generation farmer Devan Toop

VIDEO: Death threat, racist comments spewed over empty seat on B.C. bus

Transit Police are investigating the incident, shared online by fellow passengers on Vancouver bus

Man faces 8 charges after Vancouver carjacking, pepper-spray attacks

Jesse William Swain has been charged with assault with a weapon, robbery and dangerous driving

Sister of plane crash victim that went missing in B.C. starting support network

Tammy Neron wants to help families who are searching for missing people

‘Hello, 911? There’s a horse in my living room’

Sproat Lake firefighters called to ‘rescue’ quarter-horse from Alberni Valley house

Assault charge withdrawn vs. ex-Jays pitcher Roberto Osuna

Former Toronto player agrees to peace bond

Most Read