Effective at noon on Sept. 1, 2016, campfires and Category 3 open fires will once again be permitted throughout the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction.
In addition, Category 2 open fires will now be permitted in the North Island-Central Coast Forest District, the Haida Gwaii Forest District and the “Fog Zone” — a band of land two kilometres wide that runs from Owen Point near Port Renfrew to the district boundary of Port Hardy.
The North Island-Central Coast Forest District includes the following areas:
- the Nimpkish Valley
- north of Robson Bight
- north of Nordstrom Creek on Brooks Peninsula (on the outer coast of Vancouver Island)
- north of Knight Inlet (on the mainland)
Rain has fallen in all areas of the Coastal Fire Centre in recent days and more rain is in the forecast, which has reduced the wildfire risk in the region.
Members of the public are encouraged to visit www.bcwildfire.ca to get the latest information about open burning prohibitions in their area. A map showing all current prohibitions in the Coastal Fire Centre is available online at: http://ow.ly/JPNX303Mcc5
Local governments may still have their own burning restrictions in place, so always check with local authorities before lighting any fire of any size.
- Campfires cannot be larger than a half-metre wide by a half-metre high. People who light campfires are reminded to have a hand tool (such as a shovel) or at least eight litres of water available nearby to fully extinguish the campfire.
- Tiki torches will also be permitted throughout the Coastal Fire Centre.
- Category 2 fires are fires that burn material smaller than two metres high and three metres wide, or stubble or grass over an area smaller than 2,000 square metres. The use of burn barrels, fireworks, sky lanterns, and binary exploding targets will also be permitted in areas where Category 2 fires are allowed (i.e. the North Island-Central Coast Forest District, the Haida Gwaii Forest District and the Fog Zone).
- Anyone lighting a Category 3 fire must first obtain a burn registration number by calling 1 888 797-1717. A Category 3 fire is a fire that burns: material more than two metres high or three metres wide; stubble or grass over more than 2,000 square metres; or more than two piles of any size.
- A poster explaining the different categories of open fires is available online at: http://ow.ly/jdO5301kS32
Anyone who lights a fire must comply with air quality control legislation and must have sufficient personnel, water and tools on hand to stop the fire from escaping.
Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, 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.
The Coastal Fire Centre covers all of the area west of the height of land on the Coast Mountain Range from the U.S.-Canada border at Manning Park, including Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park in the north, the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii.
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
You can also follow the latest wildfire news on:
- Twitter at: https://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo
- Facebook at: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo