Open fire prohibition within Southeast Fire Centre begins July 8
Effective at noon on July 8, all open fires are prohibited within the Southeast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. The prohibition will remain in place until Sept. 20 or until the public is otherwise notified.
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 of any size or description.
The prohibition does not restrict campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.
Campfires must not be larger than 0.5 metres by 0.5 metres in size. 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. Make sure that that the campfire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.
This prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by a fire department. Please check with civic authorities for any restrictions before lighting a fire.
Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345 or, if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
Crews from the Southeast Fire Centre have responded to 27 wildfires since April 1 (22 caused by humans and five caused by lightning), which have burned a total of 168 hectares.
The Southeast Fire Centre encompasses an 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. This includes the Selkirk and Rocky Mountain districts.
A map of the affected area is available online at: http://bcwildfire.ca/ftp/ Project/WildfireNews/6262013~34405_Southeast_Prohibition_June26_2013.pdf
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
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