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NEWS RELEASE · 13th April 2010
Ministry of Forest and Range
The Northwest Fire Centre urges the public to be careful with burning this week due to unseasonably warm and dry weather conditions.

Temperatures in the northwest are predicted to be significantly higher than average this week, with some areas forecast to be 10 degrees warmer than normal. This warm and dry weather, combined with gusty winds and already dry conditions, makes grasslands and forests much more susceptible to fire.

Since April 1, the Northwest Fire Centre has responded to three person- caused fires, which burned a total of six hectares. Almost all fires that start at this time of year are human-caused, and therefore preventable. To ensure you are not the cause of a wildfire, please take the following precautions:

* Only burn in appropriate conditions. Never burn when it is windy. Gusty winds can carry embers to other combustible materials and start new fires.
* Have enough water and hand tools nearby to control your fire, keeping in mind that winds can materialize quickly, even on a seemingly calm day.
* Ensure that all other combustible materials are cleared well away from the fire.
* Never leave your fire unattended at any time. Before leaving an area, douse the ashes with enough water that they are cold to the touch.
* If you are planning to do any open burning, obtain a burn registration number ahead of time by calling 1-888 797-1717.

The Northwest Fire Centre thanks the public for continuing to report wildfires. If you see flames, smoke or an abandoned campfire, please call 1-800 663-5555 or *5555 on most cellular networks. For more information on wildfires or burning restrictions, visit www.bcwildfire.ca or call toll-free to 1-888 3-FOREST.

The Northwest Fire Centre is responsible for fire suppression and forest protection from Burns Lake to the Queen Charlotte Islands, and from Tweedsmuir Park to the Yukon border.