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

Mathieu Caron leads Chilliwack Chiefs to shutout win over Wenatchee Wild

Chilliwack’s netminder stopped 29 pucks Saturday night in a BCHL Showcase game at Prospera Centre.

Chilliwack Chiefs erase three goal deficit in overtime win

Down 3-0 to the Cowichan Capitals, the Chiefs came back to win 4-3 in the BCHL Showcase match.

Chilliwack man feeling helpless about puppy stolen while at church

Evidence of neighbour trespassing and accusing him of dog neglect not enough for RCMP

UPDATE: Missing Chilliwack man has been found

Chilliwack RCMP is thanking the public for keeping an eye out

UPDATED: Chilliwack councillor’s expenses being sent to the RCMP

Decision to have expenses audited and shared with RCMP taken at special meeting of council

VIDEO: Foster and adopted children claimed and named

Traditional ceremony welcomes children into community

Whitecaps see playoff dreams fade after 2-1 loss to FC Dallas

Goal in 87th minute seals Vancouver’s fate

Porsche impounded for going 138 km/hr in 90 zone during charity rally

West Vancouver Police said wet roads and heavy rain made it extra dangerous

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Phase 2 of $1.35B Royal Columbian upgrades won’t be a public-private partnership

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix says it will be a design-build

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

B.C. man fined $15,000, barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Most Read