A campfire ban that was put in place on the South Coast earlier this summer due to the hot, dry conditions and forest fire risk officially ended this week.
At noon on Monday, the BC Wildfire Service rescinded the campfire prohibition that was in effect within the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction.
This covers all of the area west of the Coast Mountain Range from the US-Canada border at Manning Park, including Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park in the north, the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii.
Although the ban has been lifted, there are still some restrictions such as the use of:
- fireworks (including firecrackers)
- sky lanterns
- binary exploding targets
- burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description
The current prohibition on Category 2 and Category 3 open fires also remains in place throughout the Coast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, except for the Fog Zone on Vancouver Island.
Precautions still required
Some parts of southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands have received very little rainfall in recent weeks. As such, the BC Wildfire Service has also issued a number of reminders and precautionary measures for people when starting a campfire:
- Choose the campfire site carefully and remove all leaves, twigs and other flammable material from the area.
- Create a fire break by scraping away debris right down to the dirt all around the fire.
- Use a fire pit or put a ring of rocks around the campfire site that is at least three metres away from trees, shrubs, structures and other flammable materials.
- Never leave a campfire unattended.
- Keep at least eight litres of water or a shovel close by at all times to extinguish your campfire properly.
- Make sure that your campfire is completely extinguished before going to sleep.
- Ensure that the fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.
Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a 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 or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
For information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, call 1-888-3-FOREST or visit bcwildfire.ca