The Hanceville wildfire ravaged northern B.C. last summer. (BC Wildfire Service)

Harsher fines, new off-road vehicle rules in effect to combat B.C. wildfires

Anyone who starts a wildfire could be ordered to pay up to $1,000,000

With memories of last year’s devastating wildfires lingering, the provincial government has increased fines for those who cause the blazes.

A new administrative penalty of $100,000 is now in place for people or companies that caused fires because of improper power line care, including downed power lines, and because of vegetation near a power line not being maintained.

Off-road vehicle users will also have some preparing to do as summer approaches.

All off-road vehicles must now have a spark arrestor installed when operating on Crown land.

A spark arrestor is a small screen in the exhaust system that helps stop sparks from leaving the tailpipe.

Many newer off-road vehicles already have spark arrestors, but those who own older models will need to install them. If you don’t, you could face a ticket fine of $460 or a penalty of up to $10,000.

And it gets worse if the vehicles cause a fire: the operator can get a ticket fine of $575, a penalty of up to $10,000, have to pay $1,000,000 in court costs, or spend up to three years in jail, as well as have to pay the firefighting costs.

The province is also boosting some of its other fines.

Failing to comply with restricted area requirements, with an order restricting an activity or use, and with an order to leave a specified area will now cost you $1,150, up from $767.

The penalty for ignoring a stop-work order has also increased to $10,000.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

North Coast First Nation chief says one major oil spill could ruin economy forever

Chief Marilyn Slett of Heiltsuk Nation near Bella Bella is leading a delegation in Ottawa this week

How to decide what to vote for in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots are due at Elections BC on Friday, Dec. 7, at 4:30 p.m.

Northern Health investigates racist posts of possible employee

Facebook comments call for segregated health authorities

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Omar Khadr to ask for Canadian passport to travel, permission to speak to sister

He spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught when he was 15

One of Tori Stafford’s killers transferred to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Military closes book on oft-criticized support unit for ill, injured troops

The transition unit will provide support and services to military members struggling with physical and mental injuries so they can return to work.

Vancouver Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson named NHL’s first star of the week

Canucks centre scored two goals and six assists in three games

Protester says Canada doing U.S. ‘dirty work’ outside Huawei exec’s bail hearing

The U.S. wants to extradite Meng to face fraud allegations after Canada arrested the high-profile technology executive.

Break-in at home of detained Chinese Huawei executive

Meng Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver on America’s request

Most Read