CASTLEGAR – The Southeast Fire Centre has received many inquiries about whether a campfire ban will implemented.
The fire centre will not be issuing a campfire prohibition at this time, but staff will continue to evaluate the situation on a daily basis.
Sometimes it is necessary to implement campfire prohibitions to reduce the risk of wildfires. Multiple factors determine the timing of such a ban, including weather conditions, local fire activity and whether fire centre staff are encountering widespread non-compliance with campfire regulations.
The current situation does not warrant this preventative action, due to recent precipitation, the forecasted weather conditions and that fact that there have been no incidents in the Southeast Fire Centre this season where campfire misuse has resulted in a wildfire.
However, the open fire prohibition announced on July 2, 2014, will remain in place until the public is otherwise notified. Specifically, prohibited open burning 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 of any size or description.
Campfires must not be larger than a half-metre wide by a half-metre tall. 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.
Campfires must not be lit or kept burning during windy conditions. Make sure the fire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time. Remember that embers can reignite, especially in warm weather.
Careless campfire use can have costly repercussions. Anyone who leaves a campfire unattended for any length of time may be fined up to $345. Anyone whose campfire causes a wildfire may also be subject to a penalty of $100,000 and one year in jail, and may be ordered to pay for costs associated with fighting the fire and any damages.
The Southeast Fire Centre would like to thank the public for reporting wildfires and for using campfires safely during this period of elevated fire danger.
The Southeast Fire Centre extends from the U.S. border in the south to the 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. This includes the Selkirk and Rocky Mountain resource districts.
The Southeast Fire Centre urges members of the public to always check the Wildfire Management Branch website (www.bcwildfire.ca), since fire prohibitions may change. Please also check with local municipalities that may have their own fire prohibitions in place.
For information on air quality, including smoke forecasts for Western Canada, visit the BC Air Quality website: www.bcairquality.ca/bluesky/west/index.html
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, 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
You can also follow the latest wildfire news on:
* Twitter at: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo
* Facebook at: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo
Fire Information Officer
Wildfire Management Branch
Southeast Fire Centre