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Category 2 fires to be banned in Cariboo Fire Centre

Ban effective noon June 25
The Cariboo Fire Centre stretches from Loon Lake near Clinton in the south to the Cottonwood River near Quesnel in the north, and from Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the west to Wells Gray Provincial Park in the east. (BC Wildfire Service)

Category 2 open burning will be prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre and Tsilhqot’in Declared Title Area beginning at noon Friday, June 25 to help prevent human-caused wildfires.

The restrictions are being implemented in partnership with the Tsilhqot’in National Government and will remain in effect until 12 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2021, or until the public is otherwise notified, said the Cariboo Fire Centre (CFC).

Also banned are Category 3 open fires and the use of fireworks, including firecrackers, and sky lanterns, tiki torches, air curtain burners, binary exploding targets and burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description.

Category 2 open fires are defined by B.C’s Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development as one to two concurrently burning piles no larger than two metres high by three metres wide, and stubble or grass burning over an area less than 0.2 hectares.

Read More: ‘Unprecedented heat wave’: Environment Canada issues heat warning for Cariboo, Coast

“These prohibitions apply to all public and private land within the Cariboo Fire Centre jurisdiction and Tsilhqot’in (Xeni Gwet’in) Declared Title Area unless specified otherwise,” a news release stated.

Fines or jail time is possible to anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, 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, the CFC said.

Heat warnings were issued by Environment Canada for much of B.C. including the Cariboo on Wednesday afternoon, June 23.

Wildfires, unattended campfires or open burning violations can be reported by calling 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

The ban does not apply to campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

Read More: UPDATE: ‘Out of control’ fire at Eleven Mile Creek near Hope up to 35 hectares

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