04/02/2015 06:13 EDT | Updated 06/02/2015 05:59 EDT

Ministry of Forests urges caution while burning debris in B.C.'s northwest

SMITHERS, B.C. - Firefighters are cautioning residents in B.C.'s northwest about the perils of backyard burning as temperatures rise, grass dries out and precipitation drops.

Experts with the Ministry of Forests say weather conditions are highly unpredictable right now and often changing throughout the day.

They're urging people and businesses to take steps to reduce the number of preventable, human-caused wildfires.

Precautions include avoiding burning during windy conditions, not leaving a fire unattended, ensuring water is handy and building a fire guard.

They also suggest checking with fire departments and municipalities about restrictions and obtaining a burn registration for large-scale industrial burns and grass fires over a fifth of a hectare.

The ministry says anyone who loses control of their outdoor burn and causes a wildfire will be held accountable for damages and costs associated with extinguishing the blaze.