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BC Government Using Higher Fines & Jail Time To Combat Wildfire Risk

Largest Wildfire

Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast / Flickr

In 2017, we saw what experts labelled as British Columbia’s worst wildfire season in the history of the province. To ensure history doesn’t repeat itself in 2018, the government is implementing new measures and targeting “irresponsible off-road vehicle users”.

The most notable measure is that these vehicles will be now required to have spark arrestors installed to reduce wildfire risks.

A spark arrester is any device which prevents the emission of flammable debris from combustion sources, such as internal combustion engines, fireplaces, and wood burning stoves.

RELATED: BC Wildfire Smoke Looks Massive From Outer Space

If an off-road vehicle (ORV) without a spark arrestor is found in an area that has a high risk of fire, the driver will receive a fine of $460. Not to mention, they could also face an administrative penalty of up to $10,000.

Additional Wildfire Measures

If a future wildfire is a result of an ORV, the driver could potentially receive a violation ticket fine of $575. Furthermore, they may also incur a court fine up to $1,000,000 and/or up to three years in jail.

In addition, the person who is responsible for the fire may also be asked to pay all firefighting and any other associated costs.

Utility companies may also face much higher fines.

For example, if a wildfire is started because a poorly maintained tree near a power line falls on the cable and starts a fire, the person who should’ve been responsible for maintaining it can be fined up to to $100,000.


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