In order to help protect communities, natural resources and infrastructure from wildfire damage, the B.C. government is looking to further discourage actions that can result in increased wildfire risks. On Mar. 10 there was a proposed legislative amendment introduced to the Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Statutes Amendment Act (Bill 12) to include provisions that are aimed at people who interfere with firefighting efforts in B.C.
There have been additional legislative changes for 19 different violations under the Wildlife Act that have seen a significant increase in fines for seven different violations under the Wildfire Regulation.
“These legislative amendments propose tough new regulations to discourage people from interfering in wildfire suppression or violating British Columbia’s wildfire laws,” said Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Steve Thomson.
“These tough new regulations are aimed at discouraging people from interfering in the fighting of wildfires and violating our wildfire laws,” Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett said in a Mar. 15 statement.
“Last year’s fire season in B.C. was one of the busiest and most expensive in recent years, so we must do all we can to limit the damage in our forests and ensure the safety of our firefighting crews.”
On average, 30 to 40 per cent of wildfires in British Columbia are human-caused. Last summer resulted in one of the busiest and most expensive fire seasons in recent years.
Over 283,400 hectares burned in the province, costing more than $278 million in wildfire management.