As a result of dry conditions and an increasing wildfire risk, effective noon on Thursday, May 9, 2013, Category 2 open fires and the use of fireworks will be prohibited in the Fort St. John and Dawson Creek fire zones.
This prohibition will be in place until June 15, or until the public is otherwise notified.
Hot and dry weather over the past week have led to a spike in human-caused wildfires in the Peace region and elsewhere in B.C. Low humidity and high temperatures are expected to continue, so anyone working outdoors should be extremely diligent when operating equipment. All-terrain vehicle riders should be cautious in the backcountry, since any spark could ignite a wildfire.
Specifically, this prohibition on Category 2 open fires applies to:
- The burning of any material, piled or unpiled, smaller than two metres in height and three metres in width, including burning barrels.
- Stubble or grass fires over an area less than 2,000 square metres.
This order does not prohibit campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, or apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes. Anyone lighting a campfire must maintain a fireguard by removing flammable debris from the campfire area, and they must have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish the fire before leaving the area for any length of time.
Any person lighting larger fires or more than two fires of any size must comply with burning regulations and must first obtain a burn registration number by calling 1 888 797-1717.
This prohibition covers all BC Parks and Crown 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 restrictions before lighting a fire.
Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be fined $345 or, if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
The Dawson Creek and Fort St. John Fire zones are within and follow the Peace River Regional District boundaries. To see a map of the area affected, click here: http://ow.ly/kNupx
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca
You can also follow the latest wildfire news:
- On Twitter at: http://twitter.com/#!/BCGovFireInfo
- On Facebook at: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo
Senior Protection Officer
Wildfire Management Branch
Prince George Fire Centre