Campfires prohibited in British Columbia

EFFECTIVE at noon (Pacific time) on Wednesday, June 30, campfires, Category 2 and Category 3 open fires will be prohibited throughout the province of British Columbia.

This prohibition will remain in effect until noon on October 15, or until the order is rescinded.

The provincial weather forecast calls for 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.

Camping is a long-standing tradition in this province. The B.C. government recognizes that people also enjoy having campfires, so it takes any decision to implement a campfire ban very seriously.

The BC Wildfire Service takes these extreme heat conditions seriously. Additional precautions are being undertaken throughout the province, including fire warden patrols, fixed-wing aircraft patrols and an active enforcement presence. Wildfire prevention is a shared responsibility. Human-caused wildfires are completely preventable and divert critical resources away from lightning-caused fires.

The BC Wildfire Service is constantly monitoring current and forecast conditions and maintaining preparedness.

A campfire is defined as any fire smaller than 0.5 metres high by 0.5 metres wide.

In addition to campfires, Category 2, and Category 3 open fires, the following activities are also prohibited:

* The use of fireworks

* The use of sky lanterns

* The use of burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description

* The use of binary exploding targets

* The use of tiki and similar kinds of torches

* The use of chimineas

* The use of outdoor stoves or other portable campfire apparatus without a Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Underwriter Laboratories of Canada (ULC) rating

* The use of air curtain burners in Cariboo, Coastal, Northwest, Prince George and Southeast fire centres

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire, or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone.

Anyone found in contravention of an open-burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, may be required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, may be 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.

The FireSmart Begins at Home Manual was developed to help people reduce the risk of personal property damage due to wildfires. Download your copy here: https://firesmartbc.ca/resource-types/guides-manuals/

For further fire prevention information and resources, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status/prevention

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