The City of Fernie is asking residents to get ready for more bear sightings in the community as the animals search for food.
City officials said you should keep your garbage bins secured inside between collection days or use a 24/7 bear-proof bin or the transfer station.
“Securing attractants is the single best way to keep people safe, prevent property damage, and avoid the unnecessary killing of bears,” said city officials.
Fernie has made some changes to its bylaws to help reduce wildlife conflicts.
“We’ve increased fines and added a two-tier fine system for the accumulation, placement, storage or collection of wildlife attractants in a manner that attracts wildlife,” said city staff. “The fine for a first offence is $250, and the fines for second and subsequent offences are $500.”
Officials add that you may be responsible for any required repairs or replacement of your bin if it is improperly secured and damaged by wildlife.
You should also do what you can to reduce attractants on your property.
“Please also take time to pick ripe fruit, and collect any fallen fruit, and manage attractants such as barbeques, pet food, bird feeders by keeping them clean or out of reach, so they don’t tempt bears to hang around human-inhabited areas,” said city staff.
“We all have a part to play in reducing wildlife conflicts in our valley.”
More: Waste & Recycling Collection (City of Fernie)