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Over $25,000 in fines issued for breaking fire bans

The Conservation Officer Service (COS) handed out $25,300 in fines between Canada Day and July 4th to people who broke B.C.’s fire ban.

22 tickets were given out in total, each with a fine of $1,150. Most of the tickets were issued in the Kootenays and on South Coast.

Two were given out in our region, specifically.

“We did investigate two fires that were ignited for campfires by two different groups at different times, all within the Koocanusa area,” said Denny Chretien, CO Supervisor for the East Kootenay. “The people that were involved were charged under the B.C. Wildfire Act.”

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One particular fire on Canada Day evening saw a response from the Baynes Lake Fire Department. The fire at a beach along Koocanusa was put out by the young adults who were at the scene once firefighters arrived.

No tickets were issued at the time, but the investigation is ongoing.

“The fire department was dispatched to that fire, they addressed it at the time. We were to do some follow-up, but it’s still ongoing at this time,” said Chretien.

More: Fire Chief calls Canada Day bonfire ‘reckless and selfish’ (July 5, 2021)

As strict fire bans remain in place, conservation officers will continue to do regular checks and patrols.

“Having a fire at this time of year is very dangerous and volatile. With the conditions we have, with the dry heat, no fires should be started,” explained Chretien.

An example of a ticket given out for breaking the BC Wildfire Act. (Supplied by the BC Conservation Officer Service)
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