There’s a complete campfire ban in Maple Ridge in place. (Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS)

Maple Ridge fire department dishes out fire ban reminders

Six tickets issued on the weekend

The Maple Ridge fire department issued a half dozen tickets on the weekend for ignoring the campfire and burning ban.

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue chief Howard Exner said his department issued half a dozen $500 tickets over the weekend and noted firefighters are continually surprised that some people aren’t aware of the hot and dry conditions and wildfires that are burning around them.

“The most common excuse is that they didn’t know there was a fire ban on and they didn’t know it was a bad fire year. It’s silly that people are still having … open-flame fires right now, in the city. And so we are ticketing,” Exner added.

During wetter times of the year, campfires are allowed in some parts of rural Maple Ridge, while in the urban parts of the city campfires are banned year round.

Campfires are prohibited everywhere, all year long, in Pitt Meadows.

Exner said he’s not sure if the brief rain showers on the weekend made any difference to forest conditions.

According to the B.C. Fire Information Centre, the forest-fire danger rating for the UBC Malcolm Knapp Research Forest, north of Maple Ridge, has dropped from the extreme level last week, to a low danger rating as of Sunday.

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