Severe penalties can await those who play with fire

Effective at noon on Monday, Category 2 open fires will be prohibited in parts of the Coastal Fire Centre's jurisdiction to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect the public.

Effective at noon on Monday, Category 2 open fires will be prohibited in parts of the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect the public.

The ban will be in place until Oct. 3 or until further notice.

Specifically this ban prohibits:

• Burning any material, piled or unpiled, smaller than two metres in height and three metres in width, including burning barrels.

• Burning stubble or grass over an area less than 2,000 square metres (0.2 hectares).

The ban does not prohibit campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, or cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes. People 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 nearby to properly extinguish the fire.

People lighting larger fires, or more than two fires of any size, must comply with burning regulations and obtain a burn registration number by calling 1-888-797-1717.

This ban covers all provincial parks, as well as Crown and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have open

fire bylaws and are serviced by a fire department. Please check with local authorities for any restrictions before lighting a fire.

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 South Tweedsmuir Park in the north, the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland, all of Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida

Gwaii. The only area exempt under the current prohibition is Haida Gwaii.

Anyone found in contravention of an open fire ban 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 ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call *5555 on your cellphone or toll-free to 1-800-663-5555.

For the latest information on fire activity, conditions and prohibitions, visit the Wildfire Management Branch website at www.bcwildfire.ca.

You can also follow the latest wildfire news on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo or on Facebook at http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo.

— Coastal Fire Centre

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