COQUITLAM, BC, July 8, 2021 – As Coquitlam increases daily patrols in parks and forested areas, the City is also calling on residents to take extra care as the summer season heats up and dries out our parks.
All residents and visitors are being asked to take the steps necessary to reduce the risk of fire. This includes obeying City bylaws that ban open air burning, littering cigarette butts and smoking in parks.
With the fire risk currently rated as ‘high,’ the City is also ramping up its prevention measures. City Bylaw Enforcement patrols are already underway and now Fire/Rescue crews will also begin patrols of City parks and forested areas with the goal of identifying problem areas and reinforcing Coquitlam’s smoking and burning restrictions.
Fines for Smoking Increase to $500 in Summer Months
Despite the City’s ongoing public awareness measures, incorrect disposal of cigarette butts remains one of the leading causes of fires in parks, forests and dry grass. Consequently, Parks staff and Bylaw Enforcement have increased their presence in City parks with the primary focus on education. Those found violating Coquitlam’s smoking ban in parks could face a $500 fine. Littering of cigarette butts can also result in a fine of $150.
Don’t Let Our Parks Go Up in Smoke – What You Can Do to Help Prevent Fires
Do not smoke in parks. Not only is smoking – including cannabis and the use of e-cigarettes – banned in City parks, the fine (normally $150) increases to $500 during summer due to heightened fire risk.
- Do not litter cigarette butts – doing so can result in a $150 fine.
- Do not have any open fires or conduct outdoor burning.
- Relocate flammable debris or firewood at least 10 metres (30 feet) away from your home.
- When mowing your lawn, be aware that if the blade comes into contact with a rock, it can cause a spark that may ignite a fire.
- Ensure your vehicle's exhaust does not emit onto a dry lawn.
- Reduce the opportunity for a fire to ignite by pruning your shrubs, removing dead and dry vegetation and ensuring tree limbs are at least 2-3 metres from the ground.
- Reduce the chance of fire spreading to your home by breaking up vegetation and tree canopies so they don’t create a line leading to your home.
- Keep your roof and gutters clear of dead needles and prune branches that hang over the roof.
Residents should also be alert to signs of fire. Report any signs of smoke or fire by calling 9-1-1 immediately. Visit www.coquitlam.ca/summerfiresafety for fire rating and more information.