FORT ST. JOHN -- According to new statistics posted by the Fort St. John Fire Department, there has been a rise in medical and vehicle incidents.

Deputy Fire Chief Matt Troiano says there’s been about a 40 per cent increase in service calls. The number of calls to assist local paramedics has increased from 44 in August 2022 to 71 last month. Vehicle incidents have also risen by one for August.

Despite this, calls for fires have stayed the same compared to the year before. It’s remained at 63 calls for incidents including, fires, alarms and gas leaks. Troiano says the crews consistently see many of the fires starting from improperly disposing of smoking materials. As grass and other greenery dry out due to the weather, he advises residents to refrain from throwing away cigarettes into it.

“We do have an ongoing program for fire inspections with businesses around the city,” says Troiano, explaining that fire safety should be a number one priority.