Jade Pass Trail, Mt. Revelstoke Photo: Kim Walker

Travel Spotlight

Wildfires and Prevention

Wildfires are a very real danger in British Columbia. If you spot a fire or a column of smoke while travelling through the province, call and report it with the BC Wildfire Service at 1-800-663-5555 or hands free at *5555 on your cell phone.

Wildfire Prevention

Outdoor enthusiasts can play an important role in reducing man caused fires. Discarded cigarette butts, campfires, hot exhaust pipes coming into contact with dry grass and vegetation, power tools (such as chainsaws), candles or mosquito coils and even discarded glass can all ignite a wildfire.

It is important to be careful when in the outdoors, not only when enjoying a campfire or off-roading in the backcountry, but also in using tools and handling, storing and disposing of materials and fuels.

Campfires

Many campers and visitors to our province build and enjoy campfires. The BC Wildfire service suggest to prevent your campfire from turning in to a wildfire be sure to;

  • Check current campfire restrictions for the area you are in
  • Select your campsite and campfire location carefully
  • Remove all leaves, twigs and other flammable material from the area around where you plan to light your campfire
  • Never have a campfire when it’s windy
  • Choose a proper fire pit or make a ring of rocks at least three metres from trees, shrubs, structures and debris
  • Do not leave a campfire unattended for ANY amount of time
  • Keep a bucket of at least eight litres of water close by the fire at all time, and/or a hand tool (such as a shovel) to extinguish the fire properly
  • Completely extinguish your campfire before you go to sleep or leave the area for any period of time.
  • To extinguish your campfire, pour plenty of water on the fire and surrounding area, dousing the site of the campfire thoroughly. Stir the campfire until there are no embers and the ashes are cold to the touch.

Other Fire Prevention Considerations

Do not discard smoking materials from vehicles or when hiking, camping or boating. Always use interior ashtrays. Many campgrounds allow you to smoke at your site and extinguish cigarettes in the purpose built firepit.

Motorized vehicles, particularly All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and dirt bikes, can produce a significant amount of heat from their exhaust systems. This heat can be enough to spark a wildfire. Avoid operating any motorized vehicle in tall grass and vegetation when the weather is hot and dry.

Campfire Bans and Restrictions

Campfire regulations are seasonal and vary from region to region. During the summer month’s forest fires are a very real danger and bans are put in place in the dryer areas. For detailed regional information about fire regulations, contact the BC Wildfire Service  or their Information Line at 1-888-336-7378. Always check with local BC Visitor Centre, as local regulations always supersede those of the BC Wildfire Service.

Remember if you see a fire or columns of smoke report the incident to 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 from a cell phone.

Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989