Reports of campfires worry Port Moody Fire Rescue

Chief says he's worried people are ignoring campfire ban and are lighting fires in local forests

Could Bert Flinn Park go up in smoke?

That’s the concern after reports of campfires in the park on Port Moody's north shore.

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This week, Port Moody Fire Rescue is reminding residents that fire pits, campfires and bonfires are banned anywhere in the city at at any time of the year after hearing reports of campfires in local forests.

PoMo firefighters have been honing their woodland interface firefighting skills and have amassed thousands of dollars worth of sprinklers, hoses and other firefighting equipment to fight these blazes. But the last thing they want is to have is a human-caused fire in the trees on the edge of the city.

“Port Moody is a wildland/urban interface, which means our homes, schools and businesses are adjacent to our urban forests, city parks and green spaces,” Fire Chief Ron Coulson said in a press release.

“We’re very lucky to live in such a beautiful place but it means we need to be vigilant about preventing fires.

"The ban on open fires of any kind, including fire pits, bonfires and campfires, helps to keep our community safe by reducing the chance of a fire spreading and threatening our families, our homes and our natural environment,” he added.

Open fires fires are dangerous and prohibited year-round but are a special concern when forests dry out in the summer, turning fields and forests into fuel.

Coulson is urging residents to visit firesmartcanada.ca for tools and tips.

In 2017, the city adopted the campfire ban bringing Port Moody in line with all other Lower Mainland municipalities, and people can be fined $250 for having an open fire.

They may, however, use CSA-or UL-rated outdoor heating devices such as fire tables or fire pits that use liquid or gaseous fuels, as well as CSA- or UL-rated barbecues or cooking devices that use charcoal briquettes or liquid or gaseous fuels.

Still, when the fire danger rating reaches extreme, Port Moody Fire Rescue may order a temporary ban on the use of all outdoor cooking or warming appliances in city parks, forested lands, and public green spaces.

Smoking is also not permitted in any city parks, sports venues, school premises, playgrounds and beaches.

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