Illegal campfires trigger $48,000 in fines over B.C. Day weekend
B.C. Conservation Office Service says it issued 42 tickets for unlawful campfires
The B.C. Conservation Office Service says it's frustrating and disappointing that people are still starting campfires when crews are battling more than 460 wildfires in tinder dry conditions across the province.
The province is spending millions of dollars on fire suppression and the public continues to take risks, said inspector Tobe Sprado.
Conservation officers issued 42 tickets for unlawful campfires over the B.C. Day long weekend for a total of $48,500 in fines.
Long weekend patrols by BCCOS resulted in 42 charges for illegal campfires. Total fines in excess of $48,000. Patrol are continuing... <a href="https://t.co/s4lrd9qMIc">pic.twitter.com/s4lrd9qMIc</a>—@_BCCOS
Campfire bans are in place province-wide and anyone found in violation can be ticketed $1,150.
"A lot of them claim that they don't know. But they do know. Essentially, they believe the chances of being caught is slim, so they're prepared to take that risk," said Sprado.
He says staff are working nightly to enforce the bans and can issue tickets to every single person in the group.
Vancouver Island CO’s conducted campfire ban patrols over the weekend. 3 groups managed to miss all the signs concerning campfire bans. One campfire was located only 19 steps from a campfire ban sign. CO’s issued 3 violations tickets for campfires for a total of $3,450 in fines. <a href="https://t.co/tDZoV6C47K">pic.twitter.com/tDZoV6C47K</a>—@_BCCOS
In addition to the $1,150-ticket, a person may be required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000.
If the campfire results in a wildfire, a fine anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million can be issued, plus one year in prison.