Category 2 and 3 open fires are still prohibited throughout the fire centre, with the exception of the Fort Nelson Fire Zone.
Specifically, the Category 2 open fire prohibition applies to the burning of any material, piled or unpiled, smaller than two metres high and three metres wide, including burning barrels.
It also applies to stubble or grass fires over an area less than 2,000 square metres, as well as fireworks.
Keep in mind, this open fire prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, or apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.
“Anyone lighting a campfire must maintain a fireguard by removing flammable debris from the campfire area, must never leave the campfire unattended, and must have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish the fire before leaving the area for any length of time,” Kelsh said.
The prohibition covers all B.C. 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.
Kelsh advises residents to check with local authorities for any other restrictions before lighting a fire.
Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be fined $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://www.bcwildfire.ca.