At least 14 illegal fires set in Fraser Valley 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.

“This means no tiki torches, no binary targets, no fireworks,” said Stahl. “Propane fires are allowed as long as they’re CSA-approved.”

RELATED: Illegal campfires prompt $48,000 in fines over B.C. Day weekend

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

Langley organizers invite special guest to Gone Country

Cancer fundraising, day-long concert sold out more than a month and a half ahead of Saturday’s event

Season over for Tier 1 Langley Thunder

Victoria wins best-of-three quarter final

VIDEO: Wet weather kicks off Langley toad migration

Thousands of small western toads were making the trek from pond to woods

Willoughby Dayz creates sense of community in Langley’s fastest growing neighbourhood

The annual event by Willoughby Town Centre keeps growing as more businesses and residents move in

New Aldergrove playground opens fully to public – once and for all

Admission to Otter Co-op Outdoor Experience water park no longer necessary for Pacific Park access

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman sentenced to life in prison

Experts say he will likely wind up at the federal government’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

Serious police incident unfolding at Sts’ailes near Agassiz

Small reserve near Agassiz surrounded by police vehicles, helicopter, ERT

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

RCMP release sketch of suspect in SFU assault, appeal to witnesses who helped woman

The RCMP want to talk to two women who helped the victim after she got to the parking lot

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

Most Read