Since July 2, 2015, all open fires – including campfires – have been prohibited in some areas of the Northwest Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.
According to the Northwest Fire Centre, this prohibition will remain in effect until the public is otherwise notified.
The following areas will be affected:
– Nadina Forest District (including Burns Lake);
– Skeena Stikine Forest District (excluding the northern section of the Skeena Stikine Forest District, also known as the former Cassiar Forest District);
– Coast Mountain Forest District (excluding all areas northwest of a line running from the Alaska border through Rainbow Summit on Hwy. 16 to the south side of the Skeena River).
The prohibition includes:
– Industrial and backyard burning (category two and category three open fires);
– The use of outdoor stoves and any other portable campfire apparatus that is not CSA-approved or ULC-approved;
– The use of fireworks, firecrackers, tiki torches, sky lanterns, chimineas and burning barrels;
– The use of binary exploding targets.
This prohibition does not apply to a cooking stove that uses gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus with a CSA or ULC rating that uses briquettes, liquid fuel or gaseous fuel, so long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.
This prohibition covers all B.C. Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but it does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest-fire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department. Before lighting any fire, residents should check with local authorities to see if any other burning restrictions are in place.
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. In addition, if the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
Category two open fires include one or two concurrently burning piles no larger than two metres high by three metres wide, as well as stubble or grass burning over an area less than 0.2 hectares.
Category three open fires include any fire larger than two metres high by three metres wide; three or more concurrently burning piles no larger than two metres high by three metres wide; one or more burning windrows; stubble or grass burning over an area greater than 0.2 hectares.
A map of the affected areas is available online at: http://bit.ly/1g8GLkh