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BC Wildfire Service urges ATV riders, drone operators to steer clear of active fire zones

Burns Lake, Houston firefighting efforts impacted by ATV riders, drone operators
Firefighting efforts continue but ATV and drone operators are getting in the way. (BC Wildfire Service photo)

ATV riders need to stay away from fires burning in the area, says the BC Wildfire Service.

The request follows reports of the vehicles getting in the way of firefighters and heavy equipment operators working the Tintagel fire east of Burns Lake, the Peacock Creek fire south of Houston and the Parrot Lookout fire in the Francois Lake area south of Burns Lake.

“In order for wildfire suppression activities to continue safely and effectively, the public must stay out of active fire areas,” said the wildfire service in a statement today.

“Public interference has a direct impact on the effectiveness of fire suppression activities and poses safety risks to both the public and responders who are working to contain these fires.”

Firefighting efforts are being further hampered by drone operators with aerial attacks on fires in the Bulkley area temporarily halted over the weekend.

“The presence of drones near active wildfire operations presents a significant safety risk for aircraft, which can slow down or completely shut down aerial firefighting efforts delaying this vital support to firefighting personnel and the wider community,” said the wildfire service.

“In the interest of aircrew and public safety, British Columbians are asked to keep their drones well away from wildfires. You could face serious penalties, including fines and/or jail time, should you be caught operating a drone in the vicinity of a wildfire.”

About the Author: Rod Link

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