B.C. man fined after celebrating return from fire evacuation with fireworks
Published Saturday, August 5, 2017 9:12PM EDT
An intoxicated British Columbia man was arrested early Saturday, after setting off fireworks -- and defying a province-wide fire ban -- at his home in Williams Lake.
Williams Lake RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said the 34-year-old Williams Lake man “told police that he set the fireworks off in celebration of returning home after his evacuation.”
“It is careless acts such as [these] that have the real potential to trigger even more interface wildfires in the area,” O’Donaghey said, according to a written statement.
According to the RCMP, the man spent a night sobering up in police custody before being released with more than $1,000 in fines for “dropping, releasing or mishandling a burning substance” and “failing to comply with high risk activity restrictions under both the provincial BC Wildfire Act and its Regulations.”
The Williams Lake area had been evacuated on July 15 as wildfires raged nearby. Although the evacuation order was lifted on July 27, the area remains under an evacuation alert, meaning that there is still an ongoing threat from wildfires.
On Friday, the B.C. government extended its province-wide state of emergency until at least Aug. 18. Crews are still currently battling well over 100 separate wildfires in the province and roughly 7,000 people are still out of their homes due to evacuation orders. Some 5,000 square kilometres have been torched by wildfires in B.C. this year, making it the worst wildfire season in the province in six decades.
With files from CTV Vancouver and The Canadian Press.