City of Nanaimo, B.C. gov’t lift campfire bans in Coastal Fire Centre

NANAIMO - Ban on campfires and tiki torched lifted in time for Labour Day Weekend thanks to recent rains.

Residents and campers will be able to sit around small cooking fires and campfires over the Labour Day Weekend, thanks to a relaxation of a summertime burning ban.

With recent rain and cooler weather on the central Island, the Province of B.C. lifted its ban on campfires and tiki torches as of noon today (Sept. 1).

The ban has been lifted for all of the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, which covers all of the west side the Coast Mountain Range from the Canada/U.S. 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.

Category 2 fires – fires less than 0.5 metre high by 0.5 metres wide – will also be allowed in the North Island-Central Coast Forest District, the Haida Gwaii Forest District and the “Fog Zone,” a band of land two kilometres wide that runs from Owen Point near Port Renfrew, to the district boundary of Port Hardy.

The City of Nanaimo has followed suit, which means small contained cooking fires and private campground campfires are again allowed within city limits, but the city bylaw prohibiting open burning will remain in effect.

Campfires cannot be larger than 0.5 metre wide by 0.5 metre high.

People who light campfires are reminded to have a hand tool (i.e. a shovel) or at least eight litres of water available nearby to fully extinguish a campfire.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue cautions that in spite of recent cooler, damper weather, conditions continue to remain dry. Firefighters continue to respond to small accidental fires in planters and grassy areas, mostly caused by carelessly discarded cigarettes.

The fire department also reminds people that early detection is important to reduce the risk of fire and severity of damage when fires do break out. Anyone who sees smoke is asked to immediately call 911.

For more information about the city’s burning bylaw, please call the Nanaimo Fire Rescue non-emergency line at 250-753-7311.

For the latest information about open burning, please visit

A map showing all current prohibitions in the Coastal Fire Centre is available online at

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, please call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.