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Campfire ban lifted in and around Nanaimo

B.C. Wildfire Service has lifted the campfire ban in the Coastal Fire Centre area

People can now roast marshmallows around campfires again.

According to B.C. Wildfire Service, campfires are allowed as of Monday in the Coastal Fire Centre jurisdiction, which includes central Vancouver Island.

Outdoor stoves, gas stoves and portable campfire equipment are also allowed, although there remains a ban on open burning, as well as on fireworks, sky lanterns, binary exploding targets and burn barrels or cages.

B.C. Wildfire Service advises that local governments may have their own burning bylaws in place and campfires may still be prohibited within those areas. People should always check with authorities before lighting a fire of any size.

City of Nanaimo issued a press release saying its bylaw prohibiting open backyard burning within city limits remains in effect. Small, contained cooking fires are allowed in a device or fixture designed to contain fire and that’s no larger than 60 centimetres in diameter. It must be to cook food and cannot burn longer than two hours.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue is also reminding the public to safely and properly discard cigarettes and smoking-related material, despite cooler and damper weather.

“The majority of small accidental fires in planters and grassy areas are caused by carelessly discarded cigarettes,” said Ennis Mond, Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s captain of fire loss and prevention. “Please continue to safely and properly discard smoking related materials and report and fire activity quickly.”

Some parts of southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands have received very little rainfall in recent weeks and campers and other outdoor recreationalists are being reminded by the B.C. Wildfire Service to take the following precautions when lighting a campfire:

  • Select the campfire site carefully and remove all leaves, twigs and other flammable material from the area.
  • Create a fire break by scraping away debris right down to the dirt all around the fire.
  • Use a fire pit or put a ring of rocks around the campfire site that is at least three metres away from trees, shrubs, structures and other flammable materials.
  • Campfires must not be bigger than a half-metre wide and a half-metre high.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended.
  • Keep at least eight litres of water or a shovel close by at all times to extinguish your campfire properly.
  • Make sure that your campfire is completely extinguished before going to sleep. Ensure that the fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a 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.

The Coastal Fire Centre covers all of the area west of the height of land on the Coast Mountain Range from the U.S.-Canada border at Manning Park, including Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park in the north, the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii.

For more information on the city burning bylaw visit and a map of the Coastal Fire Centre area where the ban has been lifted can be found at

About the Author: Nanaimo Bulletin News Staff

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