Open fire ban in effect for Whistler and the coastal region of B.C. 

Campfires still allowed but must be monitored

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With more warm, dry weather in the forecast the Wildfire Management Branch has announced a ban on open fires in the coastal region of B.C.

The ban excludes campfires, as long as they are monitored, have a fireguard around them and at least eight litres of water is available to put in out.

The prohibition also refers to the use of fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, burning barrels and burning cages of any sizes, as well as the use of binary exploding targets.

The Coastal Fire Centre covers all areas west of the height of land on the Coastal Mountain range.

Only the "Fog Zone" of Haida Gwaii is exempt.

The fire ban is to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety and will remain in effect until Oct. 16.

The ban does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

"Make sure that your fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before you leave the area for any length of time," states a press release.

Anyone who fails to comply with the fire prohibition can be issued a ticket for $345.

If convicted in court, punishment could be as severe as a $100,000 fine or a year in jail.

"If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs," the release said.

Any person lighting a larger Category 3 fire - or more than two fires of any size - must comply with open burning regulations and must first obtain a burn registration number by calling 1-888-797-1717.

For the latest info on current wildfire activity and burning restrictions visit www.bcwildfire.ca.

To report a wildfire cal 1-800-663-5555 toll-free, or *5555 on a cell phone.

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