Despite cooler temperatures and recent rain showers in some areas, campfires are still prohibited in a large part of the Cariboo Fire Centre, reports Sandra Wagner, Cariboo Fire Centre wildfire information officer.
Campfires are allowed east of the Fraser River, but remain banned in areas west of the Fraser River.
In order to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety, the Cariboo Fire Centre will not be lifting the current campfire ban west of the Fraser River at this time.
The fire danger rating for areas west of the Fraser River currently ranges from “high” to “extreme.”
Dry conditions are expected to continue and no substantial rainfall is in the forecast for those areas.
The public is reminded that campfires, where allowed, cannot be larger than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide.
Anyone who lights a campfire must have a hand tool (such as a shovel) or at least eight litres of water available to fully extinguish it.
Never leave a campfire unattended and make sure that the ashes are completely cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.
Category 2 and Category 3 open fires remain prohibited throughout the entire Cariboo Fire Centre.
This includes the use of fireworks, sky lanterns and burning barrels of any size and description.
A map of the areas affected by these prohibitions is available online at: http://bit.ly/1zHDDOZ
The prohibitions cover all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but do not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by fire departments. Please check with local authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.
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 Cariboo Fire Centre covers an area of about 10.3 million hectares, stretching from Loon Lake in the south to just north of Quesnel at the Cottonwood River. From east to west, the boundaries stretch from the western edge of Wells Gray Provincial Park to the eastern boundary of Tweedsmuir Provincial Park.
To report a wildfire or an unattended or non-compliant 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: www.bcwildfire.ca
You can follow the latest B.C. wildfire news: on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo or on Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo