With B.C. — particularly the Southern Interior — sweltering under extreme high temperatures, the Province has banned all campfires, Category 2 open fires, and Category 3 open fires throughout British Columbia. The ban takes effect as of noon on Wednesday, June 30.
The announcement on June 28 comes on the heels of the Cariboo Fire Centre banning all Category 2 and 3 open burning. Both types of fire were already prohibited throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre.
The provincial prohibition remains in effect until Oct. 15, 2021 or until the order is rescinded.
The weather forecast calls for continued record-breaking high temperatures throughout B.C. this week, and follows a spring of lower-than-average precipitation in the southern half of the province. These conditions are expected to persist in the coming weeks.
The statement from the Province noted that the BC Wildfire Service takes these extreme heat conditions seriously. It also noted that camping is a long-standing tradition in the province. “The B.C. government recognizes that people also enjoy having campfires, so it takes any decision to implement a campfire ban very seriously.”
A campfire is defined as any fire smaller than 0.5 metres high by 0.5 metres wide.
In addition to the ban on campfires and Category 2 and 3 open fires, other activities are also prohibited. These include the use of fireworks, sky lanterns, tiki and similar types of torches, binary exploding targets, chimineas, burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description, and outdoor stoves or other portable campfire apparatus that does not have a Canadian Standards association (CSA) or Underwriter Laboratories of Canada (UCL) rating.
These prohibitions apply to all public and private land in B.C.
Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $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.
A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at http://ow.ly/znny309kJv5.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire, or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone. For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures, and air quality advisories, call 1-888-3-FOREST (1-888-336-7378) or visit www.bcwildfire.ca.