CASTLEGAR – Effective at noon on Monday, Aug. 31, campfires are once again permitted throughout the Southeast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction.
The Southeast Fire Centre rescinded its campfire prohibition due to cooler and wetter conditions in the forecast and a decreased wildfire risk in the region. The following activities are now allowed:
* Campfires no larger than a half-metre wide by a half-metre high.
* An open fire in an outdoor stove.
Anyone who lights a campfire must have a hand tool (such as a shovel) or at least eight litres of water available to fully extinguish it. Never leave a campfire unattended and make sure that the ashes are completely cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.
A map of the area where the campfire prohibition has been lifted is available online at: http://bit.ly/1dMzbdA
Small backyard burning piles (Category 2 open fires) remain prohibited within the Southeast Fire Centre. These prohibitions include:
* The burning of any material in a pile larger than a half-metre wide by a half-metre high, up to two metres wide by three metres high.
* The burning of stubble or grass in an area covering up to 0.2 hectares.
* Fireworks, sky lanterns and burning barrels.
* The use of binary exploding targets.
* The use of air curtain burners (forced air burning systems).
Category 3 open fires continue to be prohibited throughout the Southeast Fire Centre’s jurisdictional area.
These prohibitions cover 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. Please check with local governments for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.
Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345, 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 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 Forest District and the Rocky Mountain Forest District.
To report a wildfire, abandoned 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, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca
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