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

Violation tickets start at $1,450 but can add up quickly if an unlawful flame starts a wildfire

People just aren’t getting it.

BC Conservation Officer Service members issued 42 tickets for unlawful campfires over the B.C. Day long weekend, for a total of $48,500 in fines. The Ministry of Environment released the information to Black Press Media on Thursday.

This was despite campfire bans in place province-wide, save for the Prince George fire centre and some areas of northern B.C.

Crews are currently battling more than 460 wildfires in B.C., scattered throughout every region.

Each year, 42 per cent of all forest fires are caused by people using campfires, vehicle sparks, fireworks and more.

READ MORE: Butt out, stay safe and obey campfire bans

READ MORE: Conservation officers issue $4.5K in campfire fines in 1 night

Anyone found breaking the bans can be issued a ticket for $1,150 and may be required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000. If convicted in court, the fine can reach up to $100,000 and and be paired with one year in jail.

If breaking the rules causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

This weekend, the BC Wildfire Service has set a fire danger rating of high to extreme for the entire province, which means that new fires will start easily, spread rapidly and challenge fire suppression efforts.


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