Public reminded to fully extinguish their campfires

The BC Wildfire Service is urging the public to adhere to all open burning regulations and be more diligent with their campfire use.

  • Aug. 26, 2016 8:00 p.m.

The BC Wildfire Service is urging the public to adhere to all open burning regulations and be more diligent with their campfire use.

Over the last two weeks, several abandoned campfires were discovered

within the Cariboo Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, reports Natasha Broznitsky

fire information officer with the Cariboo Fire Centre.

Anyone lighting or fuelling a campfire must fully extinguish it and

ensure that the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the site for

any length of time. Failure to do so could result in a hefty fine.

Temperatures in the Cariboo Fire Centre are expected to cool over the

next few days, but little rain is expected and unpredictable, gusty winds

are in the forecast.

When a campfire causes a wildfire, it is often due to wind blowing sparks or embers into nearby forest fuels.

Keeping a close eye on your campfire at all times is crucial to stop it sparking a wildfire.

In 2015, three wildfires in the Cariboo Fire Centre were caused by abandoned campfires. So far this year, one wildfire was started by a campfire.

With hunting and fishing season upon us, the recent spike in

abandoned campfires is concerning. One human-caused wildfire is one too

many, since human-caused fires divert valuable firefighting resources

from naturally occurring wildfires.

Campfires and Category 2 open fires are currently allowed in the Cariboo

Fire Centre, but Category 3 open fires remain prohibited. A poster

explaining the different categories of fires is available online at:

The BC Wildfire Service continuously evaluates the need for open fire

restrictions, based on weather conditions, dryness of forest fuels and

the level of compliance with burning regulations – including the

responsible use of campfires.

The Cariboo Fire Centre is asking for the public’s assistance in

reporting any abandoned or unattended campfires. To report an abandoned

campfire, wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 or

*5555 on a cellphone. Whenever possible, the person submitting the report

should include the location of the campfire and any information that

could help identify the person responsible, such as a license plate

number or a vehicle description.

Here are some important campfire safety tips:

• Have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available to

properly extinguish your campfire.

• Campfires can not be larger than 0.5 metres high by 0.5 metres wide.

• Do not light a campfire or keep it burning in windy conditions. Weather

can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible


• Maintain a fireguard around the campfire. This is a fuel-free area

where all flammable materials (grass, kindling, etc.) have been removed.

• Never leave a campfire unattended.

• Ensure that the campfire is completely extinguished and the ashes are

cool to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

Natural resource officers and conservation officers conduct regular

patrols throughout British Columbia, including looking out for campfire-

related infractions. Anyone found in contravention of an open fire

prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, 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.

For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning

restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: or call 1 888 3-FOREST.

You can follow the latest wildfire news on:

Twitter at:

Facebook at:



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