Outdoor burning restrictions extended in much of B.C.

Effective immediately, the existing Category 2 open fire and fireworks prohibition in B.C.'s Coastal Fire Centre is being extended.

Effective immediately, the existing Category 2 open fire and fireworks prohibition in B.C.’s  Coastal Fire Centre is being extended.

It will now remain in place until Oct. 15 or until the prohibition order is rescinded.

This prohibition applies to all areas within the Coastal Fire Centre, with the exception of the Skeena-Queen Charlotte, Mount Waddington and Central Coast regional districts.

This prohibition is intended to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. Specifically, this open-fire prohibition applies to:

• The burning of any waste, slash or other material (piled or unpiled) smaller than two metres in height and three metres in width;

• The burning of stubble or grass over an area less than 2,000 square metres;

• The use of fireworks or burning barrels of any size or description.

The ban does not prohibit campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, and 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 the campfire area and have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish the fire.

Coastal B.C. is experiencing a warm and dry fall. Current weather conditions continue to dry out forest fuels. The public is reminded to exercise caution when camping or visiting forested lands.

Category 3 open burning, used for resource management reasons, is still allowed. However, anyone conducting an open burn must first obtain a burn registration number by calling 1-888-797-1717.

This prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands 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 restrictions before lighting a fire.

Anyone found in contravention of an open-fire prohibition may be fined $345 or, if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

More information about open burning regulations and fire prohibitions can be found at: www.bcwildfire.ca.

The Coastal Fire Centre covers the area west of the Coast Mountain Range from the U.S.-Canada border at Manning Park, and includes South Tweedsmuir Park in the north, the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii.

Report a wildfire or unattended campfire by calling 1 800 663-5555 toll free or *5555 on a cell phone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit www.bcwildfire.ca

— Coastal Fire Centre