COQUITLAM, BC, July 25, 2017 – Coquitlam Fire/Rescue is stepping up its patrols of green spaces and is calling on residents to take precautions as fire risk reaches dangerously high levels.
As wildfires burn across British Columbia, Coquitlam Fire/Rescue is calling on cooperation from residents to take steps that can both reduce and limit the risk of fire. This includes adhering to City bylaws that ban open air burning, littering cigarette butts and smoking in parks.
Fire/Rescue crews are now conducting daily foot patrols of city parks and forested areas and will be reporting back on any problem areas or people violating non-smoking or cooking/burning rules. High-risk areas of particular focus include multiple spots along the Coquitlam River, Oxford bluffs and Mundy Park.
Parks staff and bylaws officers are also increasing their presence in city parks and will be handing out $500 fines for smoking. Despite public awareness measures, cigarette butts remain one of the leading causes of fires in parks, forests and dry grass.
What can you do?
Do not smoke in parks.
Do not litter cigarette butts.
Do not have any open fires or conduct outdoor burning.
Relocate combustible debris or firewood at least 10 metres away from your home.
Be aware when mowing your lawn that if the blade comes into contact with a rock, it can cause a spark that may ignite a fire.
Ensure your vehicle's exhaust does not emit onto a dry lawn.
Reduce the amount of fuel present around your homes; prune your shrubs, remove dead and dry vegetation and tree limbs 2-3 metres from the ground.
Break up continuous vegetation and space so there is no continuous canopy or line of vegetation leading to your home.
Keep the roof and gutters clear of dead needles; prune branches that hang over the roof.
Coquitlam’s fire risk is currently rated 'high.' Should this elevate to 'extreme,' further restrictions involving outdoor BBQ use in public parks will be implemented. www.coquitlam.ca/seasonalsafety.
Residents should take precautions against accidental fires and be alert to signs of fire. Report any signs of smoke or fire by calling 911 immediately.