Starting Friday, July 24, the province is banning Category 2 and 3 fires in the Southeast as well as Coastal Fire Centres.
Fires bigger than 0.5 metres across by 0.5 metres tall will be banned in both regions, however Category 3 fires will be allowed in Haida Gwaii.
Category 3 fires, which are larger than two metres high by three metres wide, are also banned in the Kamloops Fire Centre as well as the Cariboo Fire Centre.
According to a news release from the province, BC Wildfire Service is implementing these bans to prevent human caused wildfires and to protect public safety.
In the Southeast Fire Centre there are increased fire danger ratings caused by warm weather.
Category 2 open burn prohibitions includes:
- the burning of any waste, slash or other materials
- open fires larger than 0.5 metres wide by 0.5 metres high
- stubble or grass fires of any size over any area
- the use of sky lanterns
- the use of fireworks, including firecrackers
- the use of binary exploding targets
- the use of burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description except when used for a campfire as defined by the wildfire regulation
- the use of air curtain burners
Category 3 burn prohibitions includes:
- any fire larger than two metres high by three metres wide
- three or more concurrently burning piles no larger than two metres high by three metres wide
- burning of one or more windrows
- burning of stubble or grass over an area greater than 0.2 hectares
Campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide, or smaller, are still allowed, as well as cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.
Anyone lighting a campfire must maintain a fireguard by removing flammable debris from around the campfire area and have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish the fire.
Anyone found burning illegally will be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, be required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $100,000 or, if convicted in court, sentenced to up to one year in jail.
If the illegal fire spreads, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs as well as the value of resources damaged or destroyed by the wildfire.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation call 1-800-663-5555 toll free of *555 on a cellphone.
Visit bcwildfire.ca for information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories.