All open fires, including campfires, are banned in the Coastal Fire Centre as of noon today (Aug. 1).
Officials at the fire centre, which includes all of Vancouver Island, portions of the mainland east of Squamish, and the North Coast (excluding the fog zone and Haida Gwaii), made the decision to ban campfires to help prevent human-caused wildfires.
To date, the fire centre saw 94 fires – 58 were person-caused, while 36 were caused by lightning.
This prohibition will remain in place until Oct. 15, or until the public is notified otherwise.
The fire danger rating is currently high to extreme throughout the Coastal Fire Centre. As of Wednesday morning, the Nanaimo area had not recorded measurable precipitation during the month of July.
With the current trend of warm and dry weather, wildfires in the region have displayed aggressive behaviour and required additional fire suppression resources.
Coastal Fire Centre officials are also expecting lightning throughout the next week, which will likely produce more fires. Human-caused wildfires can divert critical resources and crews from responding to naturally occurring wildfires.
Open burning prohibition applies to open fires of any size, fires with a burn registration number, industrial burning, fireworks, tiki torches, sky lanterns and burning barrels.
The prohibition does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus with a CSA or ULC rating that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.
The open burning prohibition covers 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 a fire department.
Please check with local governments for any other restrictions before lighting a fire.
Anyone found in violation of an open fire ban, including campfires, may be issued a ticket for up to $345. Anyone who causes a wildfire through arson or recklessness may be fined up to $1 million, spend up to three years in prison and be held accountable for associated firefighting costs.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, please visit www.bcwildfire.ca.