Officials with the Grande Prairie Fire Department hope safety will be top of mind as we head into the long weekend. Fire Marshall James Kostuk says drivers who are also smokers must be responsible when they are behind the wheel and must butt-out carefully.

“Purchase a sturdy ashtray for your vehicle and use it. Disposing of your cigarettes out of the window is against the law. It’s littering.”

Kostuk says if you’re still in the city and you see someone throwing a lit cigarette out of their vehicle, you can take action.

“You can actually have them charged through Enforcement Services. If you get their licence plate, date, and location you can contact Enforcement Services and the registered owner will receive a fine.”

However, Kostuk says it’s not only smokers who need to be cognizant, but also those who enjoy using ATVs. He says while most aren’t out in the backcountry for anything but innocent fun, but they must proactively do their best to be fire smart.

“If you’re going to be travelling in the backcountry, whatever you’re riding, make sure it’s clean. If you’re going through mud or grass, make you kick off the tires where your hot bearings and exhaust are, that will reduce the risk.”