As of noon on Friday, July 7, 2023, areas within the Cariboo Fire Centre and Tsilhqot’in Declared Title Land are once again under a campfire ban.
From Clinton, north to the Cottonwood River, east to Wells Gray Provincial Park and west to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, Category 1 fires are prohibited.
The ban is aimed at preventing human-caused wildfires and protecting public safety.
A Category 1 fires is defined as “any fire no larger than 0.5 metres high by 0.5 metres wide used by any person for recreational purposes or by a First Nation for a ceremonial purpose.”
Only a few areas of the province are still permitting campfires as of press time, parts of the Northwest Fire Centre and the Southeast Fire Centre were allowing campfires on Friday, July 7.
This comes as BC Wildfire Service said yesterday they responded to more than 80 new fires in the previous seven days. Most of those fires were out or under control, with only 16 still out of control as of July 6.
After an early start to the season and a season still challenging resources in the north and coastal regions, international resources have been brought in.
One hundred firefighters from Mexico are working in the Prince George Fire Centre and an additional 60 from the United States are on their way as well. Both Ontario and Quebec continue to face stretched resources, despite some recent precipitation.
After record temperatures continued across areas of the province and lightning storms were forecast, BC Wildfire Service made the move to reduce the risk of more person-caused fires in the Cariboo and Chilcotin regions.
Provincially, at least half of the wildfires so far in 2023 are believed to have been human-caused.
Category 2 fires have been banned in the fire centre area since May 11 and Category 3 fires have been prohibited since May 4. A Category 2 fire is defined as material in one pile not exceeding two metres in height and three metres in width or stubble or grass over an area that does not exceed 0.2 hectares.
If travelling to an area where campfires are permitted, the BC Wildfire Service advises people follow these steps before, during and after having any campfire:
- Check with local governments and other authorities (e.g., BC Parks) to see if any burning restrictions or bylaws are in effect.
- Choose a proper fire pit or make a ring of rocks at least three metres from trees, shrubs, structures and debris.
- Always have at least eight litres of water or a hand tool available while your campfire is lit.
- Do not leave a campfire unattended for ANY amount of time.
- Before you leave the area for any amount of time, your campfire MUST be fully extinguished. The ashes of your fire must be cool to the touch.
For more information contact Cariboo Fire Centre at 778-799-2100. To report a wildfire call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on your cell phone.