(Grace Kennedy photo) Discarded cigarettes are one of the leading causes of brush fires in Surrey.

Cigarette butt chuckers keep Surrey burning

Surrey firefighters have fought 59 brush fires in the past 10 days, and 203 grass fires since May 1

Surrey firefighters have fought 59 brush fires in the past 10 days, and 203 grass fires since May 1st.

Most were completely preventable and — you guessed it — started by smokers chucking their smouldering cigarette butts.

In response, Surrey’s firefighters, parks and bylaw officers are posting up “fire risk” signs near parks and fire halls, displaying the fire risk rating, mapping camping spots for regular inspection, and handing out fire safety brochures at the parks.

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Anyone caught tossing their cigarette butts out of a vehicle window, or on the ground, will be fined $200. Surrey’s bylaws officers and firefighters are on duty seven days a week.

Safety patrols will also be on the lookout in parks for people burning stuff, smoking or camping.

Moreover, Surrey does not allow burning, smoking or camping in its parks, nor does it permit open burning and backyard fires and charcoal barbeques are prohibited in the city’s parks and on its beaches.

People who spot a fire are asked to call 911 and call 604-591-4370 for any bylaw-related issues.

tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com