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UPDATED: Fire wardens on patrol in the Southeast Fire Centre

The campfire ban went into effect at noon Friday, July 7. — Photo courtesy BC Wildfire Service

The BC Wildfire Service is not taking any chances with people being careless not that the campfire ban has been issued for the Southeast Fire Centre.

The BC Wildfire Service is putting the public on notice that fire wardens will be on patrol in the Southeast Fire Centre and educating people about the campfire ban that came into effect at noon Pacific time on Friday, July 7, 2017.

"Due to the quick implementation of the fire ban on Friday, individuals who are camping this weekend may have missed the campfire ban notice," the Southeast Fire Centre said in a media release Saturday.

"The fire wardens are talking to people about the ban and distributing information about it in the region's camping areas and recreation sites."

The Southeast Fire Centre would like to thank everyone for their continued co-operation in extinguishing their fires as directed.

During this period of heightened wildfire activity, it's critical that British Columbia's firefighting resources are available to respond to emergency situations in the Southeast Fire Centre and elsewhere in the province.

The public is urged to comply with the current open fire restrictions in the Southeast Fire Centre and extinguish any such fires they may have lit.

Specifically, prohibited activities include:

  • campfires, as defined in the Wildfire Regulation: www.gov.bc.ca/wildfirelegislation
  • * the burning of waste or other materials
  • stubble or grass fires of any size over any are
  • the use of fireworks, sky lanterns, tiki torches, chimineas, burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description
  • the use of binary exploding targets (e.g. for target practice)
  • the use of air curtain burners (forced air burning systems)

Southeast Fire Centre issues campfire ban, effective immediately

The rising thermometer has prompted the Southeast Fire Centre to issue an order to prohibit campfires in the region, effective at noon Pacific time on Friday, July 7, 2017.

This campfire ban, announced in a media release Friday, will remain in place until the public is otherwise notified.

"The Southeast Fire Centre is currently experiencing dry conditions and fire danger ratings are generally “high” or “extreme” throughout the region," the media release said.

"With forest fuels drying out and lightning storms in the weather forecast, it is crucial to decrease the risk of human-caused wildfires so firefighters can concentrate on naturally occurring wildfires in the region."

The release said prohibitions on larger Category 2 and Category 3 open fires are already in effect throughout the Southeast Fire Centre.

To learn about the differences between campfires, Category 2 open fires and Category 3 open fires, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/wildfirebans
or review the open fire regulations poster at: www.gov.bc.ca/openfireregs

Specifically, prohibited activities once the campfire ban takes effect will include:

  • campfires, as defined in the Wildfire Regulation: www.gov.bc.ca/wildfirelegislation
  • the burning of waste or other materials
  • stubble or grass fires of any size over any area
  • the use of fireworks, sky lanterns, tiki torches, chimineas, burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description
  • the use of binary exploding targets (e.g. for target practice)
  • the use of air curtain burners (forced air burning systems)

The Southeast Fire Centre covers the area extending from the U.S. border in the south to Mica Dam in the north and from the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east. It includes the Selkirk Natural Resource District and the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District.

A map of the affected areas is available online at: http://ow.ly/lGdb30drACI

These prohibitions do 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 – so long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres. The use of a campfire apparatus that does not meet these specifications is prohibited.

These prohibitions cover all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but do not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws and is serviced by a fire department. Always check with local authorities to see if any other burning restrictions are in place before lighting any fire.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a 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, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

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