Open fires banned in Cariboo region effective Thursday

Elevated fire danger ratings lead to ban on Category 2 and 3 open fires in the Cariboo, effective on noon Thursday.

  • Jun. 30, 2015 6:00 p.m.

Drier than normal conditions and elevated fire danger ratings have resulted in a ban on Category 2 and 3 open fires in the Cariboo, effective on noon Thursday.

Anyone conducting Category 2 or 3 fires anywhere in the Cariboo Fire Centre must extinguish any such fires by then, the Wildfire Management Branch said in a press release Tuesday.

This prohibition will remain in place until September 30, 2015, or until the public is otherwise notified.

Specifically, prohibited activities include:

* the burning of any waste, slash or other materials

* stubble or grass fires of any size over any area

* the use of fireworks, including firecrackers

* the use of sky lanterns, tiki torches, or burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description

* the use of binary exploding targets

* the use of air curtain burners (forced-air burning systems)

The Cariboo Fire Centre stretches from Loon Lake near Clinton in the south to the Cottonwood River near Quesnel in the north and from Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the west to Wells Gray Provincial Park in the east. For a map of affected areas within the Cariboo Fire Centre, please visit: http://bit.ly/1Hr7Lpb

This prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, and it does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

This prohibition applies to all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but 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. Please check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.

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. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or an open burning violation, 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 www.bcwildfire.ca