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NEWS RELEASE · 11th June 2010
Ministry of Forest and Range
Warmer temperatures are expected for the next couple of days and residents are encouraged to exercise extreme caution when engaging in outdoor activities this weekend, Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell said today.

"When driving, camping, hiking or otherwise enjoying B.C.'s backcountry, please remember that ATV exhaust systems, improperly extinguished cigarettes and unattended campfires all have the potential to be the cause of a wildfire," said Bell. "I'm calling on all British Columbians to take an active role in fire prevention this season, and be our partner in protecting our forests, people and communities."

All terrain vehicle (ATV) riders are urged to be especially cautious when riding in tall grass or on sawdust piles.

Remember to:
* Use caution when operating vehicles.
* Never park motorcycles or ATVs on grass or areas where the exhaust system is close to combustibles.
* Use an approved spark arrester on the exhaust system.
* Take all appropriate precautions with heat sources, such as campfires or smoking materials.

The fire danger rating is low to moderate in the southern half of the Prince George Fire Centre, while it is high in the northeastern parts. So far this year, the Prince George Fire Centre has responded to 100 fires, which have burned more than 1,284 hectares of forests and grassland.

The public is also reminded that if a grass fire or campfire does escape, a person may be held responsible for suppression costs if their negligence results in a wildfire.

The Prince George Fire Centre covers the eastern portion of the Northern Interior Forest Region and the extreme Northern portion of the Southern Interior Forest Region, which is from the Yukon and Northwest Territories in the North to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, Cottonwood River and Robson Valley in the South; and from the Alberta border in the East to the Skeena Mountains in the West.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call *5555 on your mobile phone or 1 800 663-5555.

For more information on open fire restrictions or for updates on current wildfire activity, visit www.bcwildfire.ca.