Although campfires are currently allowed in some areas and municipalities in northern B.C., the BC Wildfire Service is reminding the public that campfires are still prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre’s jurisdiction.
Despite cooler and unsettled weather in recent days, the fire danger rating in parts of the Cariboo Fire Centre is still “high” or “extreme”. It would only take a couple days of warm, dry weather for the wildfire risk to increase.
The BC Wildfire Service has responded to eight lightning-caused fires in the Cariboo Fire Centre this week. Over 140 firefighters are working hard to suppress these fires, as well as the Puntzi Lake and Bald Mountain fires.
During periods of high fire activity in B.C., it is important that firefighting resources are not diverted from naturally occurring (lightning-caused) fires to deal with human-caused fires.
Current prohibited activities include:
- Open fires of any size, including campfires.
- The use of fireworks, fire crackers, sky lanterns, tiki torches and similar kinds of torches.
- The use of burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description.
- The use of binary exploding targets.
- The use of air curtain burners (forced-air burning systems).
This prohibition does not apply to a cooking stove that uses gas, propane or briquettes, or to a CSA-approved or ULC-approved campfire apparatus where the flame height does not exceed 15 centimetres.
This prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but it does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest-fire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department. Before lighting any fire, residents should check with local authorities to see if any other burning restrictions are in place.
Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, 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.
For information about where campfires are banned in the province and tips on making responsible burning decisions, visit: http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp
To report smoke, flames or an open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or dial *5555 on a cellphone.
For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca or call 1 888 3-FOREST.
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