By Southeast Fire Centre
CASTLEGAR – Effective at noon on Friday, July 13, 2012, all open fires are prohibited within the Southeast Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. The prohibition will remain in place until Sept. 19, or until the public is otherwise notified.
Specifically, this prohibits:
* The burning of any waste, slash or other material.
* The burning of stubble or grass.
* The use of fireworks or burning barrels of any size or description.
This prohibition does not include campfires, gas or propane cooking stoves or briquettes. This prohibition also does not apply to a resource management open fire.
Campfires must not be larger than 0.5 metres by 0.5 metres in size. People lighting a campfire must maintain a fireguard by removing flammable debris from around the campfire area and must have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish the fire.
Campfires should not be lit or kept burning during windy conditions. Never leave a fire unattended. Make sure that the fire is completely extinguished and the embers are cold before leaving the area.
This prohibition covers all BC Parks, 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 prohibitions before lighting a fire.
Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345 or, if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. Anyone who causes a wildfire through arson or recklessness can be fined up to $1 million or spend three years in prison and be held accountable for associated firefighting costs.
Crews from the Southeast Fire Centre have responded to 21 wildfires since April 1 (20 caused by humans and one caused by lightning), which have burned a total of 290 hectares.
Report a wildfire or unattended campfire by calling *5555 on your cellphone or 1 800 663-5555 toll-free. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning prohibitions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcforestfireinfo.gov.bc.ca