Effective at noon on Wednesday, July 6, 2016, Category 2 open fires will once again be permitted throughout the Prince George Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, due to a decreased risk of wildfires.
The rescinding of the Category 2 prohibition applies to all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws and is serviced by a fire department. Before lighting any fire, people should check with local authorities to see if any other burning bylaws or restrictions are in effect.
Category 3 open fires and campfires are also allowed within the Prince George Fire Centre, provided people follow open burning regulations. The use of fireworks, burning barrels, tiki torches and sky lanterns is also permitted.
A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at: http://ow.ly/jdO5301kS32
Category 2 fires are fires that:
- burn material in piles smaller than two metres high and three metres wide
- burn stubble or grass over an area smaller than 2,000 square metres
Category 3 fires are fires that:
- burn material larger than two metres high or three metres wide
- burn stubble or grass over an area greater than 2,000 square metres
- burn more than two piles of any size
Anyone wishing to light a Category 3 fire must first obtain a burn registration number by calling 1 888 797-1717 and comply with air quality control legislation.
Campfires must be smaller than a half-metre tall and a half-metre wide. Anyone lighting a campfire must have a hand tool (such as a shovel) or at least eight litres of water available nearby to extinguish it. Do not light fires or keep them burning during windy conditions and make sure that they are fully extinguished before leaving the area for any length of time.
Anyone lighting an open fire must have sufficient personnel, water and equipment on hand to prevent it spreading and to fully extinguish it.
Anyone contravening an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150 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 Prince George Fire Centre extends from the borders of the Yukon and Northwest Territories in the north to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, Cottonwood River and Robson Valley in the south, and from the Alberta border in the east to the Skeena Mountains in the west. A map of the Prince George Fire Centre is available online at: http://ow.ly/CtjF301Zdav
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, 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
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