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NEWS RELEASE · 29th July 2010
Ministry of Transportation
With the B.C. day long weekend upon us and most of the province tinder-dry, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is encouraging drivers to make sure all cautionary steps are taken to avoid driver-caused fires, said Minister Shirley Bond.

"The majority of forest fires have been human caused," said Bond. "This B.C. Day long weekend, I encourage drivers to take some simple precautions to ensure that they arrive safely at their destinations and avoid contributing to the wildfire situation we are facing in British Columbia."

* Do not throw cigarettes out the window or otherwise be careless when smoking, both during your trip and in roadside rest areas.
* Check fuel lines for cracks, splits, softness and deterioration.
* Keep engine compartments clean. An oil soaked engine is a fuel source looking for a fire.
* Buy a fire extinguisher and carry it mounted where you can get to it quickly.
* Improper installation of aftermarket electronics, like stereos, can lead to fires.
* Where possible avoid driving or parking vehicles in tall, dry grass.
* Avoid handling fuels in grassy or forested areas, and douse any fuel spills with water or sands.
* Monitor the temperature of your vehicle. Pull over and let it cool when necessary and make sure it is topped up with coolant.

Motorists can report wildfires by calling *5555. B.C. forest fire information, including updates on current campfire and burning bans, can be found at

"Over B.C. Day long weekends, there are, on average, over 17 hundred crashes, over 500 injuries and three deaths on B.C. roadways," said Minister Bond. "We all play a role in making B.C. roads safer."

Smart driving tips for the B.C. Day long weekend include:

* Plan ahead if your activities are going to involve alcohol, arrange for a safe way home.
* Be realistic about your travel times and check the road situation before you leave.
* Check for possible highway closures before heading out.
* Slow down and keep your distance, and always follow the posted speed limits in construction and playground zones.
* Buckle up: If you do not wear your seatbelt, you are 25 times more likely to be killed in a crash if ejected from the vehicle.