Fire department busy battling bark-mulch blazes

Discarded cigarette butts are a common cause of small fires that have the potential to grow into large and dangerous blazes.

The Chilliwack Fire Department is reminding the public to be careful about where they toss cigarette butts.

Crews have responded to more than 35 bark-mulch fires so far this year, most caused by motorists who discard their cigarettes while waiting at traffic lights.

Road medians, grass shoulders and ditches are the starting spots for many small fires that ignite easily and spread rapidly in windy conditions. A small blaze can quickly grow to threaten nearby buildings.

The Fire Department has also been busy responding to back yard fires.

Right now, open-air burning regulations do not allow for the burning of wood or similar materials within Chilliwack city boundaries. Charcoal, gas-fired or electric grills used for cooking are permitted, along with gas fireplaces and outdoor heaters.

Get more details online at chilliwack.com/fire.