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:
www.bcwildfire.ca or call 1 888 3-FOREST.
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