Thanks to a long, hot stretch of weather and little forecasted precipitation, the Coastal Fire Centre has implemented a campfire ban – along with open fires – throughout the area, including the Comox Valley.
Category 3 open fires will be prohibited with the exception of Haida Gwaii and the area known as 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.
Activities including campfires, open fires in an outdoor stove, tiki torches, fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns and binary exploding targets (rifle target practice) are not allowed.
The campfire ban and Category 3 prohibition cover all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands within the Coastal Fire Centre, with the exception of Haida Gwaii and the Fog Zone. They do not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has wildfire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department.
These prohibitions do not apply to CSA-rated or ULC-rated cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, so long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.
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.
A map of the affected area is available online at: ow.ly/cL6L303gphO