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Jun 27, 2019 Return to Headlines

Coquitlam Ramps up Fire Prevention Measures in Parks and Green Spaces

by Colleen Smith |

COQUITLAM, BC, June 27, 2019 – Coquitlam is stepping up patrols of the city’s green spaces and is calling on residents to take extra care as the summer season heats up and dries out our parks.

As they begin their seasonal fire safety campaign, Coquitlam Fire/Rescue has one key message – don’t let our parks go up in smoke! 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.

Fire/Rescue crews will begin daily patrols of City parks and forested areas as soon as the fire risk rating reaches ‘high’ 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 ongoing public awareness measures, incorrect disposal of cigarette butts remain one of the leading causes of fires in parks, forests and dry grass. Consequently, Parks staff and new Parks Bylaws officers will be increasing their presence in City parks with the primary focus on education; however, 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/firesafety for fire rating and more information.

Interface Fire Prevention Info Sessions
Coquitlam Fire/Rescue invites all Coquitlam residents to drop-in to any one of three information sessions to learn more about what you can do to reduce the risk of a wildland-urban interface fire and limit potential damage to your home.

  • Tuesday, July 16, 6 – 9 p.m., Poirier Sport & Leisure Complex (633 Poirier St. )
  • Wednesday, July 17, 6 – 9 p.m., City Centre Aquatic Complex (1210 Pinetree Way
  • Thursday, July 18, 6 – 9 p.m., Burke Mountain Firehall (3501 David Ave.)

Attendance is free and registration is not required but those interested may wish to go the City of Coquitlam Facebook event to receive updates and reminders.

Media contact:
Ron Beatty
Assistant Fire Prevention Chief
Coquitlam Fire/Rescue