Planning to go camping this weekend? Make sure your campfires conform to the rules.
Effective at noon Pacific Time on Wednesday, June 23, most open burning activities will be prohibited throughout the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction. This prohibition is being enacted to help reduce wildfire risk and protect public safety.
Category 2 and Category 3 open fires will be prohibited throughout the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction with the exception of Haida Gwaii. Category 2 and 3 open fires will not be prohibited in Haida Gwaii.
While the prohibition does not ban campfires outright, there are restrictions coming into effect (scroll down).
This prohibition applies to all public and private land, unless specified otherwise (e.g., in a local government bylaw). People are asked to check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.
Specifically, this prohibition refers to the following activities:
“category 2 open fire” which means an open fire, other than a campfire, that
a) burns material in one pile not exceeding 2 m in height and 3 m in width,
b) burns material concurrently in 2 piles each not exceeding 2 m in height and 3 m in width, or
c) burns stubble or grass over an area that does not exceed 0.2 ha.
“category 3 open fire” which means an open fire that burns
a) material concurrently in 3 or more piles each not exceeding 2 m in height and 3 m in width,
b) material in one or more piles each exceeding 2 m in height or 3 m in width,
c) one or more windrows, or
d) stubble or grass over an area exceeding 0.2 ha.
Also prohibited are (Wildfire Act, Section 12):
• Sky lanterns;
• Binary exploding targets;
• Burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description; and,
• Air curtain burners
For campers, effective June 23, campfires must be no bigger than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide. The ban does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes. A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online: www.gov.bc.ca/openfireregs
Anyone lighting a campfire must maintain a fireguard by removing flammable debris from around the campfire area and have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish the fire.
Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $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 open fire violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca