Contributed by Southeast Fire Centre
CASTLEGAR – Effective at noon PDT on July 2, 2014, open fires will be prohibited within the Southeast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. This prohibition will remain in place until the public is otherwise notified.
Specifically, prohibited activities include:
• the burning of any waste, slash or other materials
• stubble or grass fires of any size over any area
• the use of fireworks, sky lanterns or burning barrels of any size or description
This prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, and it does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes. Anyone 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.
Please ensure that campfires are not lit or kept burning during windy conditions. Make sure the fire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.
This prohibition covers 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. Please check with local authorities for any other restrictions 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, may be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
The Southeast Fire Centre covers the area extending from the U.S. border in the south to Mica Dam in the north and from the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east. It includes the Selkirk Natural Resource District and the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District. A map of the affected area is available online.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
To learn more about open burning, visit the Wildfire Management Branch website.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to www.bcwildfire.ca