Campfire ban begins Tuesday in Southeast Fire Centre
The BC Holiday weekend is almost over, but anyone remaining in campgrounds or in the wilderness is advised the Southeast Fire Centre is imposing a campfire ban beginning noon Pacific Time on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014.
The ban is to help help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety and is in addition to an open burning prohibition implemented on July 2.
“With the current trend of warm and dry weather in British Columbia, wildfires have displayed very aggressive behaviour and required additional fire suppression resources,” said Jordan Turner Fire Information Officer in a media release.
“Human-caused wildfires can divert critical resources and crews from responding to naturally occurring wildfires.”
Turner said the campfire prohibition will remain in place until the public is notified that it has been rescinded.
A map of the area covered by the ban is available online.
Specifically, prohibited activities will include:
- Campfires, as defined in the wildfire regulation.
- The burning of any waste, slash or other materials.
- Stubble or grass fires of any size over any area.
- The use of burning barrels of any size or description.
- The use of fireworks, sky lanterns, tiki torches or chimineas (outdoor fire pits).
Turner said 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, 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.
“The open burning prohibition covers all BC 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,” Turner explained.
The public is urged to check with local governments for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.
Turner said anyone found in violation of a fire prohibition, including campfires, may be issued a ticket for up to $345.
“People who cause 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,” Turner said.
Turner said the Southeast Fire Centre would like to thank the public for reporting wildfires and using fire safely during this period of elevated wildfire danger.
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.
This includes the Selkirk and Rocky Mountain resource districts.
For information on air quality and smoke forecasts for Western Canada,
visit the BC Air Quality website:
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-
free or *5555 on a cellphone.
The latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories can be found on the government website.