Open fire ban still in effect

Southeast Fire Centre still high risk despite recent rainfall and cooler weather.

  • Aug. 28, 2014 2:00 p.m.

Open fires remain prohibited throughout the Southeast Fire Centre, despite recent rainfall and cooler temperatures.

Historically, the Southeast Fire Centre receives the least amount of precipitation in the months of August and September. Although some areas have received increased amounts of precipitation recently, it may not be sufficient to reduce wildfire risks in the long term.

Specifically, the current open fire prohibition applies to:

• the burning of any waste, slash or other materials

• stubble or grass fires of any size over any area

• the use of fireworks, sky lanterns or burning barrels of any size or description

The open fire prohibition does not apply to campfires that are smaller than a half-metre wide and a half-metre high, or to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

The Wildfire Management Branch investigates all reports of smoke, including those involving prohibited burning activities. Human-caused wildfires can divert critical resources and crews from responding to naturally occurring wildfires.

Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345 or, if convicted in court, may be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one 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 be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1-800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to www.bcwildfire.ca

Quick Facts:

• So far this year in British Columbia, 1,260 wildfires have burned 312,618 hectares of land, compared to 11,351 hectares in 2013. The 10-year average for this time of year is 93,664 hectares.

• More than 1,350 provincial staff, nearly 650 B.C. contractors, over 360 out-of-province personnel and 75 personnel from Australia are currently engaged in fire response efforts in B.C..