Open fire ban in effect

NANAIMO – Open fire ban in place on B.C Coast through summer months, but campfires still OK.

As of noon Monday, open fires have been banned on most of the B.C. Coast to help prevent human-caused wildfires.

This prohibition will remain in effect until Oct. 15 or the public is otherwise notified and covers all B.C. Parks, Crown and private lands within the Coastal Fire Centre except for the Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District and the area known as the “fog zone.”

Specific activities banned include burning any material, piled or not piled, burning stubble or grass and use of fireworks, sky lanterns or burning barrels of any size or description.

The prohibition does not ban campfires a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

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 nearby to properly extinguish the fire.

The burning ban does not apply within municipal boundaries with wildfire prevention bylaws in place and are serviced by fire departments. Before lighting any fire, residents must check with local authorities regarding current prohibitions.

Penalties for breaching the prohibition range from a fine of $345 up to $100,000 and a one-year jail sentence. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person could be fined up to $10,000 and ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

For the latest information on fire activity, conditions and prohibitions, please visit www.bcwildfire.ca. To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1-800-663-5555 or call *5555 on your cellphone.