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General News · 16th May 2012
Cindy Beaulieu
Effective noon Friday, Category 2 open fires and fireworks will be prohibited across the Coastal Fire Centre, with the exception of Haida Gwaii and the Mount Waddington and Central Coast regional districts, to help prevent human-caused wildfires.

The ban will be in place until Sept. 15, or until the public is otherwise notified.

Specifically this ban applies to:

The burning of any material, piled or unpiled, smaller than two metres in height and three metres in width, including burning barrels.
The use of fireworks and burn barrels of any size of description.
Stubble or grass fires over an area less than 2,000 square metres.
Category 3 open burning, used for resource management reasons, is still allowed. However, a person conducting an open burn may only conduct one at a time and must first obtain a burn registration number by calling 1-888-797-1717.

The ban does not prohibit campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, or apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes. People lighting a campfire must maintain a fireguard by removing flammable debris from the campfire area, and they must have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish the fire.

More information about open burning and bans can be found at: http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp

This ban covers all BC Parks and 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 civic authorities for any restrictions before lighting a fire.

Anyone found in contravention of an open-fire ban may be fined $345 or, if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

As warm, dry conditions persist throughout the region, Wildfire Management Branch would like to remind the public to be vigilant. To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, dial *5555 on your cellphone or call toll-free to 1 800 663-5555.

The Coastal Fire Centre is one of six regional wildland fire centres operated by the B.C. Forest Service's Wildfire Management Branch. Located in Parksville on Vancouver Island, it is the Regional Wildfire Coordination Centre for fire dispatch, operations and administration for wildland fire fighting in south coastal B.C., the province’s most heavily populated area.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

You can also follow the latest wildfire news:

On Twitter: BCGovFireInfo

On Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo

Contact:
Marg Drysdale
250.951.4209