A district wide fire ban has been in place since July 6, but some Mission residents still don’t understand the implications of the ban.
“Fire ban, it means no fire,” said Michelle Bishop, acting captain and fire prevention officer for MFR.
Bishop said fires of any type are absolutely forbidden right now, adding the only fire that would be allowed would be in a propane appliance or a gas barbecue.
She also advises people to use common sense when using propane appliances.
“Don’t put them on dry grass.”
Despite the ban, Bishop said the department keeps getting called to fires that “mysteriously start.”
“Some people still seem to think they can have a small fire to cook on. They think that is OK. But it’s not. They don’t understand the term complete ban.”
Mission, like much of the province, is rated as extreme or very high for a risk of fire.
“We are dry, very dry. We do have heavy dew in the morning but that is usually gone pretty early.”
And Bishop said one day of rain isn’t going to change the situation.
“We did have a few people who thought the one day of rain, that it was good to go and no it is not. The ban is not lifted.”
According to the District of Mission website, anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail.
If the fire causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.