It’s wildfire season and being prepared is everyone’s responsibility Print Article Font Size
As communities across the province deal with wildfires, you may be wondering what is being done locally to ensure that the municipality and its residents are safe, and what you can do to be prepared.
 
The Town would like to remind residents that the best place to keep up to date and informed of the current wildfire situation in the province is through the BC Wildfire Service at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status.
 
An interactive map of active wildfires in the province can also be found on this site. Report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation by calling 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone.
 
At the time of this notice there are several small fires burning in Area A surrounding Golden.  BC Wildfire is actively working on the fires. Information will be updated as it is received.  At this time, none of the fires in our area are threatening structures or public safety.
 
According to BC Wildfire Service, the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District has issued an evacuation alert for the recreation sites at Mitten Lake, Bittern Lake, Nine Bay and McLean Lake. The fire is not directly impacting these sites however, it has potential to impact the Parson Forest Service Road used to access these sites.
 
For more information on the evacuation alert, please contact the Columbia- Shuswap Regional District at 250 832-8194 or visit their website at www.csrd.bc.ca.
 
The Town of Golden administers a comprehensive emergency management program in partnership with CSRD Electoral Area A and is constantly monitoring all hazards that may affect our communities.
 
Emergency Program Coordinator Kyle Hale says that now is the perfect time for residents to take the steps to ensure they are prepared for an emergency situation. Depending on the nature of the emergency, residents may need to look after their own needs and those of their family, pets and livestock for at least 72 hours after an emergency occurs.
 
“Being prepared means having an plan in place so you and your family know what to do in an emergency; having an emergency kit at home, work and in your vehicle, with food, water and supplies to last at least 72 hours; and ensuring you have insurance to help protect your home and family,” says Hale.
 
Having access to timely emergency information, as well as being educated about the risks and potential mitigation strategies, can help reduce the impacts that these events have on our lives.
 
Below are links to keep up to date on the current situation and for information on being prepared:
 
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status
www.bcairquality.ca   for information on air quality and smoky sky advisories
www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca   for emergency information and alerts.
 
PreparedBC - Disaster Readiness Information:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/preparedbc
 
According to BC Wildfire Service, as of Friday, July 6, 2018, Category 2 open burning is prohibited throughout the Southeast Fire Centre's jurisdiction. The Southeast Fire Centre extends from the U.S. border in the south to Mica Dam in the north and from the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east.
 
This is in addition to the Category 3 open burning prohibition that was put in place on June 8, 2018. Both prohibitions will remain in place until further notice.
 
A Category 2 open burning prohibition does not allow:           
* The burning of any material (piled or unpiled) larger than a campfire (i.e. no larger than 0.5 metres wide by 0.5 metres high)
* The burning of stubble or grass over an area smaller than 0.2 hectares
* The use of burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description
* The use of air curtain burners
* The use of sky lanterns
* The use of fireworks including firecrackers
* The use of binary exploding targets
 
This prohibition applies to all public and private land unless specified otherwise, for example in a local government bylaw. Please check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.
 
As of Thursday, July 26, at noon PST, this prohibition will expand to include campfires.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.