Effective at noon on June 23, 2021, most open burning activities will be prohibited throughout the coastal fire centre’s jurisdiction, which includes the qathet region.
According to a Coastal Fire Centre media release, this prohibition is being enacted to help reduce wildfire risk and protect public safety.
Category two and three open fires will be prohibited throughout the coastal fire centre’s jurisdiction, with the exception of Haida Gwaii.
The release stated this prohibition applies to all public and private land, unless specified otherwise such as in a local government bylaw. People are asked to check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.
A category two open fire means an open fire, other than a campfire, that burns material in one pile not exceeding two metres in height and three metres in width, burns material concurrently in two piles, each not exceeding two metres in height and three metres in width, or burns stubble or grass over an area that does not exceed 0.2 hectares.
A category three open fire means an open fire that burns material concurrently in three or more piles each not exceeding two metres in height and three metres in width, material in one or more piles each exceeding two metres in height or three metres in width, or stubble or grass over an area exceeding 0.2 hectares.
The release states that also prohibited are fireworks, sky lanterns, binary exploding targets, burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description and air curtain burners. This prohibition does not apply to campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, or 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 available nearby to properly extinguish the fire.
Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. 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, unattended campfire or open fire violation, call 1.800.663.5555 toll-free, or *5555 on a cell phone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to bcwildfire.ca.