UPDATE: The BC Wildfire Service says that all open fires are now banned in the Northwest Fire Centre, effective immediately. This means that all fires, including campfires, are effectively banned across the entire province with the exception of the Haida Gwaii islands, and the “Fog Zone” on Vancouver Island, which runs north of Port Renfrew along the west coast of the island to Port Hardy.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The B.C. Wildfire Service says that all open fires including campfires are prohibited throughout the Prince George Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, which includes the Peace and Fort Nelson regions, effective immediately.
The prohibition is being implemented due to current weather conditions, and due to the number of fires that the BC Wildfire Service is responding to in the province. More lightning is forecast across Northern B.C. in the coming days, and firefighting resources are needed to focus on existing fires and new, naturally occurring fires.
The prohibition will remain in effect until October 21st, or until the public is otherwise notified. A map of the affected areas is available online: http://ow.ly/ijI730dvhqB
The prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown, and private lands within the Prince George Fire Centre’s jurisdiction. 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.
The following activities are prohibited:
- Category 2 open fires
- Category 3 open fires
- the burning of any waste, slash or other materials
- stubble or grass fires of any size over any area
- the use of stoves and other portable campfire apparatuses that are not CSA-approved or ULC-approved
- fires burning woody debris in outdoor stoves
- the use of tiki torches, fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description
- the use of binary exploding targets (e.g., for rifle target practice)
The prohibition does not apply to CSA-rated or ULC-rated cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to portable campfire apparatuses that use briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres. A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online: www.gov.bc.ca/openfireregs
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.
To report a wildfire or open burning violation, 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.