The B.C. government said in a news release they are considering harsher punishments for careless people who start wildfires, including impounding cars for tossing cigarette butts out of the window.
“We must send a clear message to those that carelessly start wildfires that their behaviour will not be tolerated,” states the release.
“Should we double the fine for failing to extinguish a campfire? Should we ban those who break campfire bans from using our provincial parks? Should we impound the vehicles of those who flick lit cigarette butts from their car windows?”
Firefighter crews in B.C. have responded to 1,083 forest fires this summer, compared to 523 at this time last year. Of those, one-third are human caused, which amounts to 375 fires and more than 48,000 hectares in flames.
“It’s often said that you can’t legislate against stupidity, but if exploring the idea of harsher penalties for careless acts means more people get the message, we must do it.”
The tinder dry conditions and unusually hot summer have lead to the increased risk of forest fires throughout the province.
“Naturally occurring fires from sources like lightning are difficult enough for our dedicated firefighters to handle. If we’re going to continue to ask them to put their lives on the line to keep people and property safe, we need to do everything we can to end behaviours that lead to needless wildfires.”
To read the full statement, click here.
— BC Government News (@BCGovNews) July 16, 2015