White Rock Fire Rescue is reminding visitors to the beach at the city’s Waterfront that beach fires put people at risk and can earn you a fine of $150 or more.
Each spring and summer, White Rock Fire Rescue and the White Rock RCMP respond to beach fires at White Rock’s Waterfront. The City’s fire department responded to 23 calls over the past two months, many of them reports of multiple fires.
White Rock has a bylaw that prohibits open-air burning, including beach fires. Open-air burning can result in a minimum fine of $150, and a fine of up to $1,150 during a Provincial fire ban. See the full details here.
Impact of Beach Fires
Here are some of impacts of beach fires:
- Adults, children and pets have been seriously burned by beach fires that have been smothered by sand instead of water.
- Beach fires are a risk to ecologically sensitive plants and trees and pose a risk to nearby homes and businesses.
- Beach fires are often difficult to reach due to their location. Responding to fires along the Waterfront and at the railway tracks can tie up emergency resources and delay response time to other serious incidents in the city.
- Beach fires produce smoke and odours that can negatively affect the quality of life for those living or working near the Waterfront.
Reporting Beach Fires
To report a beach fire in White Rock, call 911 and ask for a fire response. For more information, visit www.whiterockcity.ca/beachfires , call 604-541-2121 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BNSF Railroad Police, joined by the White Rock RCMP, is on rail patrol from May to September. This patrol helps keep the rail tracks and surrounding area safe, including from fires.
Fire Chief Ed Wolfe
White Rock Fire Rescue
“Most people are doing the right thing. They are staying safe and not lighting fires on the beaches in White Rock.
To those of you who are starting fires, you put others at risk of being burned and your actions can tie up emergency services needed for other incidents across the city. You could also be fined as much as $1,150. My best advice is ‘Don’t do it.’ Don’t start a beach fire.”
Mayor Darryl Walker
City of White Rock
“Let’s make being outdoors safe and healthy for everyone.
If you’re from White Rock or South Surrey, enjoy the beach, stay two metres apart and wear a mask when you can’t stay apart.
For anyone visiting the beach area, enjoy your time without lighting fires. When you have a beach fire, you put everyone at risk and do not show respect for those who live and work nearby.”