Abbotsford fire officials are reminding residents to be aware of the potential for grass and brush fires following a period of hot, dry weather.
Just before noon on Monday, fire crews were called to Ten-Broeck Elementary, located at 2580 Stanley St., for a reported grass fire.
When crews arrived, the fire was spreading along the fence line and into surrounding blackberry bushes.
Officials said the blaze could have been caused by a discarded cigarette butt.
Deputy Fire Chief Mike Helmer urged smokers to use non-combustible ashtrays and to never flick their cigarette butts onto the side of the road.
“Even one carelessly discarded cigarette can cause a major fire in a matter of minutes,” he said.
Helmer also suggested that residents make themselves familiar with the city’s burning regulations.
The City of Abbotsford regulates all outdoor burning between June 1 and Sept. 30, and a total burning ban is in effect. This includes campfires, burn barrels and even wood-fuelled burn pits.
Outdoor cooking is permitted using charcoal briquettes, natural gas or propane-fuelled appliances, as these fuels are not included in the annual ban.
There is a $500 fine for discarding burning substances (including cigarettes) and a $500 fine for burning during the fire ban. People that cause accidental fires may also be charged cost recovery fees or possibly face criminal charges.
Contact the AFRS non-emergency line at 604-853-3566 regarding any questions on outdoor burning in the City of Abbotsford.