Open burning ban lifted

NANAIMO – Coastal Fire Centre lifts ban on open burning.

It’s OK to light an open fire again on south Vancouver Island.

The Coast Fire Centre lifted the ban on open burning at noon Friday because recent wet weather and cooler temperatures lowered the risk of wildfires. The ban had applied to all Category 2 and Category 3 fires – all backyard burning, campfires, fires in burn barrels, fireworks and sky lanterns.

A Category 2 open fire is one that burns material in one pile no larger than two metres high and three metres wide, burns material concurrently in two piles, each no larger than two metres high and three metres wide or burns of stubble or grass over an area not exceeding 0.2 hectares.

The lifted ban on Category 2 open fires applies to all B.C. parks, Crown and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by fire departments.

Category 3 fires include burn piles more than two metres high or three metres wide or burns of stubble or grass over more than 0.2 hectares.

Anyone lighting a Category 3 fire must first obtain a burn registration number by calling 1-888-797-1717 and comply with air quality control legislation.

Anyone planning open burning must check with civic authorities for local restrictions before lighting a fire and must have sufficient personnel, water and tools on hand to stop the fire from escaping.

Marg Drysdale, fire information officer, said the Coast Fire Centre is asking people to be careful about where they place their fires and vigilant about monitoring them.

“People often just don’t take a look around when they’re putting up their piles,” Drysdale said. “So if they could be very cautious about where they’re burning. The big thing is we just don’t any escapes if people are doing any backyard burning.”

To report wildfires or unattended campfires, call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on a cellphone.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, please visit the visit the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch website at www.bcwildfire.ca.