Lightning is the suspected cause of a wildfire burning just outside of Salmo.
The fire located in the Archibald Creek area – about 2.5 kilometers south of the Highway 3 and Highway 3B junction – was discovered on Thursday, June 7.
Fire Information Officer Ashley Davidoff says an initial attack crew is actioning the fire, which is estimated to be approximately 0.01 hectares in size.
Since fire season began April 30, there have been 24 wildfires in the southeast region and 95-hectares burned.
So far the Prince George region has been most affected with 97 fires on record and 32,015-hectares burned.
Davidoff advises the public that a Category 3 prohibition is now in place throughout the Southeast Fire Centre.
What that means is burning of any material, piled or unpiled, cannot be larger than two metres high or three metres wide. Further, the prohibition restricts burning stubble or grass over an area larger than 2,000-square metres; and bans the burning of more than two piles of any size.
“Effective at noon Pacific Time on Friday, June 8, Category 3 open burns will be prohibited throughout the Southeast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, which includes the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District and the Selkirk Natural Resource District,” stated the service.
“The BC Wildfire Service is implementing this prohibition to help prevent wildfires sparked by Category 3 burns, and to protect public safety. Anyone conducting a Category 3 open burn anywhere within the Southeast Fire Centre must extinguish any such fire by the June 8 deadline. This prohibition will remain in place until the public is otherwise notified.”
These restrictions apply to all public and private land.
The prohibition does not apply to campfires that are smaller than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide; cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes; or open fires that are smaller than two metres by three metres.
Anyone planning to light an open burn that is still allowed after the June 8 deadline (Category 2 open burns or campfires) must take the following precautions:
• Ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and prevent it from escaping.
• Do not burn during windy conditions. Weather conditions can change quickly, and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
• Create a fireguard at least one metre around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material.
• Never leave a fire unattended.
• Make sure that the fire is completely extinguished, and the ashes are cold to the touch, before leaving the area for any length of time.
Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a 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 government’s natural resource officers and conservation officers conduct regular patrols throughout British Columbia, and monitor high-risk activities. These officers work closely with BC Wildfire Service staff to investigate the cause of wildfires, and any improper use of fire when an open burning prohibition is in effect.
The Southeast Fire Centre extends 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.
Report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation by calling 1.800.663.5555 toll free or *5555 on a cellphone.