As of Monday, June 24, North Vancouver Island is subject to the annual open fire restrictions, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations announced.
Under the restrictions, the size of open fires will be limited in most of the Coastal Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect the public.
The prohibition will remain in effect until Oct. 15, 2013 or the public is otherwise notified.
All BC Parks, Crown and private lands within the Coastal Fire Centre are affected, with the exception of the Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District and the area known as the “Fog Zone”.
Specific activities affected by this prohibition include:
• the burning of any material, piled or unpiled, smaller than two metres in height and three metres in width, including burning barrels;
• the burning of stubble or grass over an area less than 2,000 square metres (0.2 hectares); and
• the use of fireworks, sky lanterns or burning barrels of any size or description.
This prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.
The prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but it does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has wildfire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department.
Before lighting any fire, residents should check with local civic authorities regarding any current prohibitions.
Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be fined $345 or, if convicted in court, 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 in addition to being ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
The latest information on fire activity, conditions and prohibitions, can be found on the Wildfire Management Branch website at www.bcwildfire.ca.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or call *5555 on your cellphone.