With warm, dry conditions continuing across B.C. and wildfires raging in several areas in the province, all open burning (including campfires, Category 2 open fires and Category 3 open fires) will be prohibited effective at noon on July 17, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources announced this week.
The ban will apply in all areas of the Coastal Fire Centre except the “fog zone” and Haida Gwaii.
This step is being taken to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety, the MOFLR announced. The fire danger rating is currently “high” throughout most of the Coastal Fire Centre, with scattered pockets of “extreme”.
This prohibition will remain in place until October 15, or until the public is notified that it has been rescinded. A map of the areas affected by the prohibition is available online at bit.ly/1yov78I.
This prohibition applies to campfires and open burning of any size or description, including fires with a burn registration number and industrial burning. The use of fireworks, burning barrels, tiki torches and sky lanterns is also not permitted.
The prohibition does not apply to CSA-rated or ULC-rated cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.
This prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by fire departments. Please check with local governments for any other restrictions before lighting a fire.
With the current trend of warm and dry weather, as well as lightning-caused wildfires in the region, human-caused wildfires can divert critical resources and crews needed to fight naturally occurring wildfires.
The Coastal Fire Centre covers the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland, all of Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii.
Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345 or, if convicted in court, may be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: http://bcwildfire.ca.