Fire-hazard rating signs erected at Surrey parks and outside a half-dozen Surrey fire halls – including two in South Surrey – are hoped to reduce the number of human-caused blazes over this fire season.
The signs were erected by City of Surrey parks staff on May 9, according to assistant fire Chief Chris Keon.
Keon said it is the second year the step has been taken locally, and that it’s part of ongoing efforts to boost fire-awareness education.
“It’s just part of the whole educational piece right now,” Keon said last Friday. “We’ve already responded to tons of brush fires this year.”
Last month, the City of Surrey issued a statement reminding the public of its open-fire ban, and noting that 26 brush/grass fires had been dealt with in the first two weeks of May alone.
Keon said discarded cigarette butts are a “big issue” for brush fires, and “the only way to get rid of that is education.”
Firefighters and bylaw officers also began conducting random patrols of the city’s parks and beach areas last month, in an effort to curb violations of the open-fire ban.
Keon said the wildfire in Fort McMurray wildfire is “a clear example” of how quickly a fire can get out of control.
“Every year, it seems to get drier,” he added.
The fire-hazard signs are updated based on information provided by the forestry service.
This week, the sign outside of Hall 14, at 176 Street and 20 Avenue, indicated the fire danger was moderate.
Keon said that sign, along with ones outside fire halls in Crescent Beach, Newton, East Cloverdale, Whalley and Guildford, is to remain up throughout the fire season; likely until October.