Fire numbers push B.C. to review wildfire penalties
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.