Open fires to be restricted in Southeast Fire Centre
The hot dry weather experienced throughout the Kootenay/Columbia region has forced the Southeast Fire Centre to put the brakes on burning.
The Southeast Fire Centre, effective Friday (May 22) at noon PDT, will prohibit Category 2 and Category 3 open fires in an effort to help prevent human-caused wildfires.
“Anyone conducting Category 2 or 3 fires anywhere in the Southeast Fire Centre must extinguish any such fires by noon on May 22, 2015,” the government release said.
“This prohibition will remain in place until the public is otherwise notified.”
The Southeast Fire Centre covers the area extending 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.
A map of the affected area is available online at: http://tinyurl.com/ly73mh7
Specifically, prohibited activities include:
- the burning of any waste, slash or other materials.
- stubble or grass fires of any size over any area.
- the use of fireworks, sky lanterns or burning barrels or cages of any size or description.
- the use of binary exploding targets (e.g., for rifle target practice).
- the use of air curtain burners (forced air burning systems).
Southeast Fire Centre said the region is experiencing drier-than-normal conditions and an elevated fire hazard. These prohibitions are being put in place due to current weather conditions and the long-range forecast.
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 regarding any other restrictions before lighting any fire.
Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345 or, if convicted in court, may be 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 subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, 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, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca