Effective at noon PDT on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012, the prohibitions on open fires in the Southeast Fire Centre will be extended.
Category 3 open fires will be banned throughout the fire centre. Category 2 fires will be banned throughout the fire centre with the exception of the Columbia Fire Zone. These prohibitions will remain in place until Oct. 15, 2012, or until the public is otherwise notified.
A map of the affected areas is available online at: http://ow.ly/dOlDO
This prohibition is intended to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. Specifically, this ban prohibits:
- the burning of any waste, slash or other material.
- the burning of stubble or grass.
This ban does not prohibit campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, and does not apply to 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 must have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish the fire.
Campfires should not be lit or kept burning during windy conditions. Never leave a fire unattended. Make sure that the fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold before leaving the area.
This 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 a fire department. Please check with civic authorities for any other restrictions before lighting a fire.
Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345 or, if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. Anyone who causes a wildfire through arson or recklessness can be fined up to $1 million or spend three years in prison and be held accountable for associated firefighting costs.
Crews from the Southeast Fire Centre have responded to 193 wildfires since April 1, which have burned a total of 1,288 hectares.
The Southeast Fire Centre extends 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 districts.
Report a wildfire or unattended campfire by calling 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on your cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: http://bcwildfire.ca
You can also follow the latest wildfire news on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo
or on Facebook at: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo
Fire Information Officer
Wildfire Management Branch
Southeast Fire Centre