Campfire ban for parts of Cariboo-Chilcotin starts Wednesday

As of Wednesday at noon, campfires will be prohibited west of the Fraser River, the Cariboo Fire Centre said.

Effective at noon Wednesday campfires will be prohibited in the Cariboo-Chilcotin west of the Fraser River to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety, the Cariboo Fire Centre Wildfire Management Branch said Monday.

“This campfire prohibition does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, but does apply to campfires, open fires in an outdoor stove, tiki torches and any portable campfire apparatus that is not CSA/ULC approved.”

Additionally, open burning will be prohibited throughout the entire Cariboo Fire Centre and anyone conducting category two or category three fires must extinguish any such fires by noon on July 16.

The use of burning barrels, sky lanterns, fireworks will also be prohibited.

Specifically, prohibited activities for east of the Fraser River include category two open fires, category three open fires, fireworks, including firecrackers, sky lanterns and burning barrels.

West of the Fraser River the following are banned: campfires, category two open fires, category three open fires, fireworks, including firecrackers, sky lanterns, burning barrels, chimeneas (wood-burning patio heaters), tiki-type torches, outdoor stoves and portable campfire apparatuses that are not CSA or ULC approved, or if the flame exceeds a height of 15 centimetres.

These prohibitions cover all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but do not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws serviced by a fire department.

These prohibitions will remain in place until Sept. 30, or until the public is informed otherwise.

The Wildfire Branch reminded the public anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345 or, if convicted in court, may be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail.

“If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs,” the notice stated.