Guidelines for the Control and Prevention of Fires on Rights-of-Way of British Columbia’s Heritage Railways





1.0 Scope

1.1 These Guidelines are intended to ensure that there are in place acceptable methods to prevent the

starting of fires and to control fires that may be started on Heritage railway rights-of-way.

1.2 These Guidelines apply to all Heritage railways subject to the jurisdiction of the provincial Ministry

of Transportation and Infrastructure pursuant to the Railway Safety Act (BC).

1.3 These Guidelines apply to all Heritage railway rights-of-way with respect to the prevention and

control of fires.

2.0 Definitions

2.1 "Assistant Fire Commissioner" means a person designated by the provincial Fire Commissioner

and who is qualified in the prevention and control of fires.

2.2 "Extinguish" means to cause the arrest of burning where all signs of combustion (heat, light and

smoke) have been eliminated.

2.3 "Fine fuel" means fuels that ignite readily and are consumed rapidly by fire (e.g. cured grass, fallen

leaves, needles, small twigs).

2.4 "Fire patrol" means qualified employees with approved forest fire suppression equipment assigned

to patrol railway rights-of-way at specific intervals.

2.5 "Fire service" means the federal, provincial, municipal or territorial ministry or department that is

responsible for the prevention, detection and control of fires in the area adjacent to the right-of-way.

2.7 "Hazard reduction" means removal or treatment of fine fuels to diminish the likelihood of a fire

starting and to lessen the potential spread and resistance to control.

2.7.1 “Heritage railway” means a railway, which only operates or moves railway equipment of Historical


2.8 "Qualified person" means, in respect of a specified duty, a person who, because of his/her

knowledge, training and experience, is qualified to perform that duty safely and properly and who is

proficient in the use of fire equipment on hand.

2.9 "Right-of-way" means railway operated right-of-way.

3.0 General Principles

3.1 Heritage railways will ensure that suitable measures are in place to prevent and control fires on

railway rights-of-way through the provision of:

3.1.1 training for employees;

3.1.2 sufficient qualified persons to ensure fulfillment of fire patrol and fire fighting requirements;

3.1.3 fire prevention and control plans developed in conjunction with the applicable fire service; and

3.1.4 local fire prevention and hazard reduction practices, to be established and implemented in

consultation with the appropriate fire service.

3.2 Heritage railways will ensure that their employees are fully knowledgeable with the fire reporting

requirements of the fire service for the areas in which they are working. They will also ensure that

the appropriate fire service and railway employees are immediately notified of the existence and

the location of the fire.

3.3 It is the responsibility of the Heritage railways to extinguish all fires:

3.3.1 on the railway rights-of-way irrespective of the manner in which the fires were started; and

3.3.2 off the railway rights-of-way that were started, or presumed to have been started, as a result of

railway operations.

3.4 When the Heritage railways cannot extinguish a fire as described herein it will request assistance

from the fire service.

3.5 Assistant Fire Commissioner

3.5.1 Assistant Fire Commissioner may, at any reasonable time, enter any right-of-way for the purposes

of inspecting to ensure compliance with the provisions of these Guidelines.

3.5.2 Heritage railways will afford reasonable transportation to Assistant Fire Commissioners for the

fulfillment of their duties.

3.5.3 Heritage railways will ensure that the instructions of Assistant Fire Commissioners in relation to the

control of a fire are complied with promptly by employees of the company.

4.0 Requirements

4.1 Heritage railways will make available for inspection by the British Columbia Safety Authority plans

setting out the manner in which they will comply with the provisions of subsection 3.1 above. These

may include the entering into of agreements with fire services establishing implementation

practices and understandings for local conditions and form a part of the Heritage Railways Safety

Management System.

4.2 Heritage railways will ensure that qualified employees are:

4.2.1 qualified through training, and fully conversant with the requirements of these Guidelines, and any

instructions issued in accordance therewith; and

4.2.2 in compliance with the requirements of these Guidelines, and any instructions issued in accordance

therewith, when engaged in their duties.