Effective at noon PDT on Sept. 20, 2016, Category 2 open fires will once again be permitted throughout the Southeast Fire Centre, due to a decreased risk of wildfire in the region.
At the same time, Category 3 open fires will once again be permitted in the Columbia Fire Zone. However, Category 3 open fires will remain prohibited in the Arrow Fire Zone, Boundary Fire Zone, Cranbrook Fire Zone, Invermere Fire Zone and Kootenay Lake Fire Zone.
A map of the affected areas is available online at: http://ow.ly/QKNo304ogxZ
Category 2 burning allows for up to two concurrently burning piles no larger than two metres high by three metres wide, or the burning of stubble or grass over an area of less than 0.2 hectares. Category 2 open burning also allows for the use of fireworks, burn barrels, exploding binary targets and sky lanterns.
Category 3 open fires include:
- fires that are larger than two metres high by three metres wide
- the burning of stubble or grass over an area greater than 0.2 hectares
- the burning of three or more fires concurrently (with individual burn piles no larger than two metres high by three metres wide)
- one or more burning windrows
Anyone wishing to light a Category 3 open fire must obtain a burn registration number ahead of time by calling 1 888 797-1717 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. To learn more about open burning categories, fire bans and fire restrictions, please visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status/fire-bans-and-restrictions
The BC Wildfire Service is asking people to take the following precautions with any permitted outdoor burning:
- Ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and to prevent it escaping.
- Do not burn in windy conditions. The weather can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
- Create a fireguard around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Make sure that your fire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before you leave the area for any length of time.
In British Columbia, the Wildfire Act specifies a person’s legal obligations when using open fire on or within one kilometre of forest land or grassland. Anyone who lights, fuels or uses a Category 2 or Category 3 open fire must comply with the Environmental Management Act and the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation. They also must check local venting conditions before conducting an open burn. If conditions are rated “poor” or “fair”, open burning is restricted. The venting index can be found at: http://ow.ly/FuIC304ogFe
The Southeast Fire Centre encompasses the area extending from the United States border in the south to Mica Dam in the north, and from the Okanagan Highlands or Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east. The Southeast Fire Centre includes the Selkirk and Rocky Mountain natural resource districts.
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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