Some Open Fires to be Allowed Within Columbia and Southeast Fire Zone

CASTLEGAR – Effective at noon Pacific time on Sept. 30, 2017, Category 2 fires will once again be permitted within the Columbia Fire Zone in the Southeast Fire Centre due to a decreased risk of wildfire in that region.

A map of the affected area is available online at: http://ow.ly/3yBj30fvlO7

However, the Category 2 open burning prohibition will remain in effect for the Boundary, Arrow, Kootenay Lake, Invermere and Cranbrook fire zones, since those areas have not received as much rainfall.

Larger Category 3 open fires remain prohibited throughout the Southeast Fire Centre. A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at: http://ow.ly/jdO5301kS32

The BC Wildfire Service is urging the public to use caution and remain vigilant with any fire use. In British Columbia, the Wildfire Act specifies a person’s legal obligations when using open fire on or within one kilometre of forested land or grasslands.

People should take the following precautions with any outdoor burning activities:

* Ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and to prevent it from escaping.

* Do not burn in windy conditions. The weather can change quickly and wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.

* Create a fireguard around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material.

* Never leave a fire unattended.

* Make sure that your fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before you leave the area for any length of time.

Local governments may still have their own burning restrictions in place, so people should always check with local authorities before lighting any fire of any size.

Anyone planning to conduct an open burn (where allowed) should always check the local venting conditions first. If conditions are rated “poor” or “fair,” open burning is restricted. The venting index can be found online at: http://ow.ly/8ytY30fwvyC

The Southeast Fire Centre encompasses the area extending from the United States border in the south to Mica Dam in the north, and from the Okanagan Highlands or Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east. The Southeast Fire Centre includes the Selkirk Natural Resource District and the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District.

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, 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

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About ingrid

Ingrid has been the owner and editor of The East Shore Mainstreet newspaper for more than twelve years now. She lives in Gray Creek, BC, with her husband Juergen and children Zoe and Luka.

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