The Chilliwack Fire Department is reminding the community that hedges, medians and other landscaped areas can be the source of small fires that can spread. (Paul Henderson/ Black Press file)

Chilliwack smokers reminded to take care with cigarette butts

Fire department has attended more than 32 fires in landscaping, many caused by smokers

As the province’s eyes are on the hundreds of wildfires blazing in the interior, Chilliwack residents, and smokers in particular, are reminded to be cautious in the hot, dry weather in the Fraser Valley.

In the last 40 days, the Chilliwack Fire Department has attended more than 32 small fires in bark mulch and cedar hedges “many caused by motorists or pedestrians that carelessly discard their cigarettes.”

“The Chilliwack Fire Department would like to remind the community that our road medians, grassy road shoulders and landscaped areas including cedar hedges continue to be the origin of many small fires,” the fire department said in a statement Monday.

“Additionally, rural ditches are dry and are a potential source for grass fires. These fires can quickly spread in windy conditions and may threaten lives and property.”

The public’s co-operation is requested to properly dispose of smoking materials to prevent fires.

The fire department also continues to respond to many backyard fires in the community despite the fact that the city’s Open Air Burning regulations do not allow for burning of wood materials.

Charcoal, gas fired or electric grills for the purpose of cooking are permitted along with gas fireplaces and outdoor heaters.

Please check with your Fire Department prior to lighting any fire on your property or go to our website at www.chilliwack.com/fire.