After the worst wildfire season in the province’s history, campfires are once again allowed in southern B.C.
The campfire ban was officially lifted throughout the Southeast, Kamloops and Cariboo fire centres, effective at noon on Friday.
A return to more seasonal weather conditions and recent precipitation has reduced the wildfire risk in these areas.
The BC Wildfire Service reminds the public that Category 2 and Category 3 open fires, which are fires larger than 0.5 metres by 0.5 metres, remain prohibited in these three fire centres.
Notably, the use of sky lanterns, binary exploding targets, air curtain burners, fireworks (including firecrackers) and burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description remain prohibited throughout the Southeast Fire Centre.
( But will be allowed in the Kamloops Fire Centre and Cariboo Fire Centre as of noon on Sept. 22)
The use of tiki torches and chimineas will be allowed in all three fire centres as of noon on Sept. 22.
People wishing to light a campfire must have ready access to eight litres of water or a shovel during the entire time the campfire is lit. They also must completely extinguish the campfire and the ashes must be cold to the touch before they leave the area for any length of time.
Open burning prohibitions apply to all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but do not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws and is serviced by a fire department. Always check with local authorities to see if any other burning restrictions are in place before lighting any fire.
Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $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.
Although the off-road vehicle prohibition was rescinded on Sept. 20 for the three B.C. fire centres, the public is reminded that area restrictions are in effect in the vicinity of some wildfires in these fire centres.
More information about current area restrictions and open burning prohibitions can be found online at: http://www.gov.bc.ca/wildfirebans .
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call *5555 on a cellphone or 1 800 663-5555 toll-free.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca .