Local news briefs: make sure your firewood is legal

Anyone who cuts, collects, or uses firewood - as many people will be doing with the cooler weather here - needs to ensure it is legal.

A permit is required for anyone who wants to cut firewood on Crown land.

A permit is required for anyone who wants to cut firewood on Crown land.

Courses coming to HUB

Thompson Rivers University will be offering a FoodSafe Level 1 course at the Ashcroft HUB on Saturday, September 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. The course costs $115, and is essential for food handlers, kitchen staff, and dining-room attendants. The course content includes purchase and storage of potentially hazardous foods; personal hygiene; the causes of food-borne diseases; and maintaining a sanitary food service operation.

On September 20, 21, 27, and 28 (Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. each night), Okanagan College will be holding an Occupational First Aid Level 1 course. The eight-hour program provides training in basic first aid and includes CPR. Students will learn self-help or first help of an injured patient, and how to stabilize him or her until more trained help arrives. Training will cover bleeding control, artificial respiration, examining an unconscious patient, and choking. A WorkSafe BC certificate will be issued upon successful completion of the course. Students must be 16 years or older to receive a certificate, and the cost of the course is $98.45.

For more information, or to register, call 1-866-352-0103.

Cariboo Fire Centre news

The Cariboo Fire Centre (CFC)—which extends as far south as Loon Lake and Clinton—is once more allowing category 3 fires within the CFC’s jurisdiction, due to a decreased wildfire risk. Category 3 fires include fires larger than two metres high by three metres wide; the burning of stubble or grass over an area greater than 0.2 hectares; the burning of three or more fires concurrently; and one or more burning windrows.

Anyone wishing to light a category 3 open fire must obtain a burn registration number ahead of time by calling 1-888-797-1717 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The rescinding of the category 3 open fire prohibition in the CFC applies to all BC Parks, Crown lands, and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has fire prevention bylaws and is serviced by a fire department. Please check with local authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.

More support for youth sport

The province of B.C. is contributing $400,000 to KidSport BC, to help more children and teens play sports. KidSport is a non-profit organization that helps children aged 18 and younger participate in a sport of their choice through confidential financial assistance. Last year more than 8,000 children who otherwise could not have afforded to take part in sports were assisted by KidSport BC.

Applications will be considered for children who, without the aid of KidSport, would not be able to participate in a sport. Grants of a maximum of $400 per child are available to cover the cost of sport participation and registration, and applications must be received prior to, or at the beginning of, the requested season of sport. For more information or to submit an application, go to http://www.kidsportcanada.ca/british-columbia/.

Free textbooks

The cost of textbooks can be a major financial hit for post-secondary students; but B.C.’s Open Textbook Project provides free online access to more than 150 textbooks. Students can either access them online or print them out for a fraction of the price of traditional textbooks, which can cost hundreds of dollars per course.

The textbooks are available for a range of courses and programs, from popular first- and second-year areas such as math, chemistry, and business to skills and technical subjects such as foundational trades courses and healthcare. It is estimated that more than 15,000 students have saved up to $2 million since the program started in 2012. For more information or to search the available collection of open textbooks go to http://open.bccampus.ca.

Get authorization to collect firewood

With the cooler weather already here, many people will be lighting their fireplaces or wood stoves to help warm their homes. However, anyone who cuts, collects, or uses firewood must ensure it was harvested legally. Members of the public who want to collect firewood must obtain a “Free Use Permit for Firewood” to verify that gathering firewood is allowed in that area. The permit costs nothing, and is available online at www.gov.bc.ca/firewoodpermits. It allows an individual to collect and transport firewood from eligible Crown land for their personal use.

Cutting down trees on Crown land without an appropriate permit (or selling any such firewood) is an illegal activity that is an ongoing concern throughout the province. Members of the public who purchase firewood should only do so from legitimate producers who sell firewood obtained either on private land or through authorized Crown land harvesting tenures. Anyone buying firewood should ask the seller where the firewood comes from, and ask for a record of purchase. Firewood that has been harvested on private land should have a district lot number and timber mark number, while firewood that has been harvested on Crown land should have a “Forestry Licence to Cut” document from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources.