SURREY — The City of Surrey’s local fire danger rating was raised to “extreme” on Tuesday (Aug. 7).
City staff monitor BC’s Wildfire Service Fire Danger Rating on a daily basis during hot and dry summers to determine the day’s fire danger rating in Surrey.
The city then updates roadside signs, digital billboards, social media and the city’s webpage accordingly throughout the fire season to advise residents and visitors of the current local fire danger rating.
During the Surrey fire department’s Brush Fire Sign Campaign, between May 1 and July 26 last year, firefighters fought 256 brush and grass fires in Surrey.
Jason Cairney, assistant chief of fire prevention for Surrey said at the time that the majority of these kinds of fires “are caused by carelessly discarded cigarettes.”
The signs are posted where a fire crew has tackled a brush or grass fire, as well as in high-traffic areas like medians and entrances to city park trails.
Last month, Surrey firefighters fought 20 such fires in a two-day period.
The city provides these tips to safely enjoy the outdoors and help prevent fires:
- Dispose of smoking materials properly and make sure they are completely extinguished. Never dispose of cigarette butts out vehicle windows or in planter boxes.
- Don’t leave barbecues unattended and ensure they are turned off properly after you have finished using them. Keep barbecues at least one metre (three feet) away from the side of buildings.
- Explain to children the dangers of playing with and lighting fires.
- Properly dispose of bottles and broken glass you find outdoors to avoid them magnifying the sun’s rays and starting a fire.
As outlined in the city’s Fire Prevention Bylaw, there is no open burning permitted in Surrey.
This means backyard fires, fire pits, chimneas, and any other type of outdoor burning other than propane or natural gas fire pits are not allowed.
In addition, briquette barbecues are not permitted in city parks and no burning of any solid fuels is allowed at any time unless the fire is compliant with the Fire Prevention Bylaw.
Cooking fires, campfires, and the burning of garbage are also prohibited in the City of Surrey.
Chimneas or any other consumer product that is built for the burning of wood is not permitted.
Natural gas, propane or charcoal briquettes are allowed in the city, as long as they are being used in ULC/CSA-approved devices for that particular product.