Fire ban to take effect today, July 18 

High temperatures, no rain in the forecast spark concern over human-caused wildfires

click to enlarge IMAGE COURTESY OF BC WILDFIRE - ON ALERT Areas affected by tomorrow's fire ban.
  • Image courtesy of BC Wildfire
  • ON ALERT Areas affected by tomorrow's fire ban.

Open burning (including campfires and Category 3 fires) will be prohibited in the Coastal Fire Centre starting at noon on Wednesday, July 18.

The new prohibitions are in addition to Category 2 open burning, which is already prohibited, and meant to prevent human-caused wildfires.

The prohibition will stay in place until Oct. 19, 2018, or until the public is otherwise notified.

"The Coastal Fire Centre is implementing these prohibitions due to high temperatures and no rain in the immediate forecast," says a BC Wildfire release.

"Since April 1, 2018, 69 per cent of wildfires in the Coastal Fire Centre have been caused by people. Human-caused wildfires are entirely preventable, and can divert critical firefighting resources away from naturally occurring wildfires."

The prohibitions apply to all public and private land, unless otherwise specified—residents are asked to check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.

The prohibitions do not apply to CSA-rated or ULC-rated cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, so long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.

Other flame-related activities are also prohibited, including open fires that burn woody debris in outdoor stoves, the use of stoves and other portable campfire apparatuses that are not CSA-approved or ULC-approved, the use of tiki torches, fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, chimineas, burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description, and the use of binary exploding targets (e.g. for rifle target practice)

"Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail," the release says.

"If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs."

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

Stay up to date on wildfires at www.bcwildfire.ca.

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