Fire crews are imploring smokers to properly dispose of their cigarette butts.

Powell River Fire’s Deputy Chief Rocky Swanson says with the dry conditions we’ve seen for most of this summer, fires can start up quickly.

“Make sure that you are butting that cigarette out into a bottle of water or some sort of extinguisher. Don’t throw it on the ground. Keep it in a proper ashtray [and] when you empty your ashtrays, don’t just arbitrarily throw it into an empty garbage can – wet that ashtray down.”

Swanson says fires can start up quickly and although it sometimes might look like your cigarette is out, it could still be lit without you knowing. “Cigarettes are designed to keep burning and they will smoulder for a very long time.” He also reminds smokers to not throw butts into the water as that will harm the ecosystem.

Swanson is also reminding residents about BBQ safety. He says it’s important to make sure your BBQ is at least 5 to 10 feet away from your home, but if that’s not possible, it’s important to look up and make sure your BBQ isn’t directly underneath your house’s awning.

He says it’s a good idea to keep at least some distance between your home and your BBQ. Swanson adds that you should also keep a fire extinguisher nearby and make sure your propane tanks are properly maintained.