Fireworks, burning barrels, and burning of waste, slash, or grass has been banned in the Southeast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction until they give notice otherwise.
Their crews have responded to 16 wildfires burning a total of 28 hectares since April 1.
The ban covers B.C. parks, crown land, and private land, but does not apply within local government boundaries where there is a fire department and forest fire prevention bylaws already in effect.
Some fires are permitted: Campfires smaller than a half-meter high by a half-meter wide and gas, propane, or briquette cooking stoves. Nearby flammable debris must be removed, and at least eight litres of water need to be on hand to be able to extinguish a campfire at a moment’s notice, and they shouldn’t be started in windy conditions.
Contravening the ban can result in a $345 ticket, and court convictions can result in fines up to $100,000 and a year in jail. Arson or recklessness ups the ante, resulting in fines up to $1 million and three years in prison, in addition to being held responsible for suppression costs.
The Southeast Fire Centre encompasses the area north of the U.S. border to Mica Dam, and east of the Alberta border to the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains, including the Selkirk and Rocky Mountain districts.
Wildfires or unattended campfires should be reported — *5555 on a cellphone, or 1-800-663-5555.
Current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures, and air quality advisories, are available at www.bcforestfireinfo.gov.bc.ca.