Nothing bigger than a campfire is allowed to burn as of noon Thursday (May 18) in the Coastal Fire Centre.
The province issued the ban Tuesday in a bid to help reduce wildfire risk and protect public safety.
Fire crews have responded to 206 wildfires since Jan. 1 with 85 wildfires in the Prince George Fire Centre covering the northeastern quarter of the province.
The extreme fire hazard of B.C.’s northeast will “slowly but surely” spread to the rest of the province, all the way down to the border with the United States including the Coastal Fire Centre, Cliff Chapman director of operations for BC Wildfire Service said Tuesday.
Category 2 and 3 open fires will be prohibited in the Coastal Fire Centre area, with the exception of Haida Gwaii, with the ban in place until Oct. 31 or until the order is rescinded. The prohibition applies to all public and private land and residents are asked to check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.
The Coastal Fire Centre covers the Coast Mountain Range from the U.S.-Canada border at Manning Park to Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park in the north, including the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii. Find a map at ow.ly/iMfQ50OpxXy.
Fireworks, sky lanterns, exploding targets, burn barrels and cages, and air curtain burners are also not allowed.
Campfires should be a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller. The ban does not include cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.
Usual campfire safety is expected such as removing flammable debris from around the fire area and having a hand tool or at least eight litres of water nearby to properly extinguish the fire.
Consequences for breaking the ban run from a $1,150 to $100,000 fine and/or 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.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire, or open fire violation, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone. For the latest information on wildfire activity visit bcwildfire.ca.
– With files from Wolf Depner