A campfire ban went into effect last Wednesday, Aug. 17 at noon.
The campfire ban is part of a Category 3 open fire prohibition everywhere in the Coastal Fire Centre region with the exception of Haida Gwaii and the fog zone,” said Fire Information Officer Marg Drysdale.
The Fog Zone is a two-kilometre-wide strip along the outer coast of Vancouver Island, stretching from Owen Point (near Port Renfrew) north to the tip of Vancouver Island and around to the west boundary of the District of Port Hardy. This strip extends inland two kilometres from the high tide point.
The District of Port Hardy is not in the fog zone. “We can’t run through a municipality,” said Drysdale. “Also banned are tiki torches,” Drysdale said.
A Category 2 fire ban was put in place May 13. Covered in that prohibition were fireworks, sky lanterns, burn barrels and binary exploding targets.
“A binary exploding target is a paper target that they put chemicals in so when you fire at them they explode,” she said.
The fire ban is being expanded, because “we have had no significant rainfall since Aug. 9. It is hot and dry. Fire danger ratings are increasing.” Winds were also expected.
The Coastal Fire Centre covers all of the area west of the height of land on the Coast Mountain Range from the U.S.-Canada border at Manning Park, including Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park in the north, the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii.
Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.