7 fined in Central Island for violating fire regulations in third quarter of 2018

The province’s conservation officers issued 95 violation tickets, including seven in the Central Island area, related to activities that could spark a wildfire during the third quarter of 2018.

Fines for these violations were $1,150 each, and totalled $108,900 for the quarter.

The fines were among 1,728 environmental enforcement actions the province is reporting that have been taken by officials during the third and fourth quarters of 2018, along with $885,907 in associated penalties and fines.

In total, the province issued 62 orders, 139 administrative sanctions, 31 court convictions, 14 administrative penalties and 2,412 violation tickets totalling $1,092,465 in fines in 2018.

The most frequently contravened acts were the Wildlife Act with 1,040 violations, the Fisheries Act (Canada) with 375 violations and the Off-Road Vehicle Act with 344 violations.

With wildfires already burning in Alberta, thoughts of last year’s smoke-filled summer are hot on residents’ minds.

Officials are already taking steps to prevent another devastating season, as the memory of last year hangs in the air.

In 2018, B.C. experienced the worst fire season on record with more than 2,000 fires and 1.35 million hectares burned, according to new statistics released by Statistics Canada.

READ ALSO: Vancouver Island hosts training exercise ahead of coming wildfire season

Wildfires in B.C. accounted for 60 per cent of the total burned area in Canada last year, a more than 50-per-cent jump for the seven-per-cent average from 1990 to 2018.

A estimated $615 million was spent on fire management and suppression operations in 2018. Additional costs associated with evacuation and property lost are not yet available.

READ ALSO: Dry March sparks fire concern

According to Statistics Canada, all air quality measuring stations had at least one day where the Air Quality Health Index reached a seven or higher, which is considered a high health risk.

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