It didn't take long for the Southeast Fire Centre to issue its first ban of the summer season.
Effective at noon Pacific Time on Monday, July 3, 2017, Category 2 open fires will be prohibited throughout the Southeast Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety the BC Wildfire Service said Friday in a media release.
"This Category 2 prohibition is in addition to the Category 3 open fire prohibition that came into effect in the Southeast Fire Centre on June 15, 2017," the media release said.
"A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at: www.gov.bc.ca/openfireregs."
The release said anyone intending to conduct a Category 2 open fire anywhere in the Southeast Fire Centre must extinguish it by 12 noon on July 3, 2017. This prohibition will remain in place until the public is otherwise notified.
Specifically, prohibited Category 2 and Category 3 activities will include:
- the burning of any waste, slash or other materials
- tubble or grass fires of any size over any area
- the use of fireworks, sky lanterns and burning barrels
- burning cages or air curtain burners
- binary exploding targets (e.g. for target practice)
This prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, and it does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.
This prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws and is serviced by a fire department. Please check with local authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.
A map of the areas affected by the Category 2 and Category 3 open fire prohibitions is available online at: http://ow.ly/eHjD30d8mcP
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. It includes the Selkirk Natural Resource District and the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District.
Campfires are currently allowed in the Southeast Fire Centre, but anyone lighting a campfire must maintain a fireguard by removing flammable debris from around the campfire area and must have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish the fire.
A campfire should not be lit or kept burning in windy conditions, and it should never be left unattended. Make sure the fire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca