Effective Aug. 1 all open fires, including campfires are now banned in all areas of the Coastal Fire Centre, except for the Fog Zone and Haida Gwaii the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Coastal Fire Centre has announced.
A map of the area covered by the campfire ban is available online at http://bcwildfire.ca.
This step is being taken to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. The fire danger rating is currently “high” to “extreme” throughout the Coastal Fire Centre.
With the current trend of warm and dry weather, wildfires in the region have displayed aggressive behaviour and required additional fire suppression resources. It is also anticipated that the Coastal Fire Centre will experience lightning throughout the next week, which will likely produce more fires. Human-caused wildfires can divert critical resources and crews from responding to naturally occurring wildfires.
Open burning is prohibited throughout the Coastal Fire Centre.
This prohibition applies to open fires of any size, fires with a burn registration number, industrial burning, fireworks, tiki torches, sky lanterns and burning barrels.
The prohibition does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus with a CSA or ULC rating that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.
The open burning prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by a fire department. Please check with local governments for any other restrictions before lighting a fire.
Anyone found in violation of an open fire ban, including campfires, may be issued a ticket for up to $345. Anyone who causes a wildfire through arson or recklessness may be fined up to $1 million, spend up to three years in prison and be held accountable for associated firefighting costs.
This prohibition will remain in place until Oct. 15, 2013, or until the public is notified that it has been rescinded.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: www.bcwildfire.ca
You can also follow the latest wildfire news on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfoor on Facebook at: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo.