Fire num­bers push B.C. to re­view wild­fire penal­ties

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

VIC­TO­RIA — The Bri­tish Columbia gov­ern­ment has an­nounced it will re­view fines and penal­ties in place for peo­ple who start wild­fires. Forests Min­is­ter Steve Thom­son says more than a third of nearly 1,100 fires recorded in the province since April were caused by hu­mans, ty­ing up re­sources that could have been used to fight fires sparked by light­ning. Thom­son says his par­lia­men­tary sec­re­tary will con­duct a re­view to de­ter­mine if en­hanced penal­ties will de­ter peo­ple from care­lessly start­ing fires. Mike Mor­ris says he’ll also con­sider ban­ning peo­ple who break fire pro­hi­bi­tions from pro­vin­cial parks, and he ques­tioned whether in­di­vid­u­als who flick lit cig­a­rette butts out of car win­dows could have their ve­hi­cles im­pounded. Pro­vin­cial fire in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer Navi Saini says 201 blazes are cur­rently burn­ing around the province and that the price tag for bat­tling wild­fires has ex­ceeded $100 mil­lion. She says a camp­fire ban re­mains in ef­fect across B.C., ex­cept for Haida Gwaii and the fog zone, a nar­row strip along the west coast of Van­cou­ver Is­land.

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