Effective at 12 noon Friday, Aug. 9, the Cariboo Fire Centre is extending its campfire ban to the northwestern portion of the region.
This ban applies to open fires of any size, campfires, industrial or backyard burning, fireworks, tiki torches, sky lanterns and burning barrels.
The campfire ban will be in effect for all areas west of Highway 97 from the Cottonwood River north of Quesnel to 150 Mile House, including the Kluskus, Nazko, Chilcotin, McLeese Lake and Williams Lake regions, as well as the Chilcotin, 100 Mile House and Interlakes regions.
The campfire ban boundary, starting from the west at Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, follows the Cariboo and Prince George fire centres boundary east to Highway 97, south to 150 Mile House, east again along the Redeaux Lake FSR (2300 Road), and then follows the Central Cariboo-100 Mile House forest districts boundary to Wells Gray Provincial Park.
This step is being taken to help prevent person-caused wildfires and to protect the public. The current fire danger rating is “high” throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre, with large areas of “extreme” west of Highway 97.
With the current trend of warm and dry weather, wildfires in the region have the potential to display aggressive behaviour and require additional fire suppression resources. Person-caused wildfires can divert critical resources and crews from responding to naturally occurring wildfires.
The open burning prohibition put into place on April 15, 2013, remains in effect for the entire Cariboo Fire Centre and applies to any type of industrial or backyard burning, including waste, slash, stubble or grass.
Areas under the open burning prohibition, but not the campfire ban, include the Quesnel (east of Highway 97), Wells, Barkerville, Bowron Lake, Quesnel Lake and Likely/Horsefly regions.
Both the campfire ban and open burning prohibition do not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to portable campfire apparatus with a CSA or ULC rating that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.
The campfire ban and open burning prohibition cover all BC Parks, Crown and private lands, but do not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by a fire department. Please check with local governments for any other restrictions before lighting a fire.
The campfire ban and open burning prohibition will both remain in place until Sept. 30, 2013, or until the public is informed otherwise.
Anyone found in violation of the campfire ban or open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket of up to $345 or, if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
To report a wildfire, prohibited campfire or non-compliant open burning, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or dial *5555 on a cellphone.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit the Wildfire Management Branch website: www.bcwildfire.ca