Effective at noon today (June 3), the size of open fires will be restricted in the Coastal Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect the public. This prohibition will remain in effect until Oct. 15, 2014, or the public is otherwise
This prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands within the Coastal Fire Centre, with the exception of Haida Gwaii and the area known as the "Fog Zone". It does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has wildfire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department. Before lighting any fire, residents should check with local civic authorities regarding any current prohibitions.
A map of the affected areas is available online at http://bit.ly/1nBypUp.
The Coastal Fire Centre covers all of the area west of the height of land on the Coast Mountain Range from the U.S.-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.
Specific activities affected by this prohibition include:
• The burning of any material, piled or unpiled, smaller than two metres in height and three metres in width, including burning barrels.
• The burning of stubble or grass over an area less than 2,000 square metres (0.2 hectares).
• The use of burning barrels of any size or description.
This prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller and does not apply 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 nearby to properly extinguish the fire.
For information about open burning and tips on making responsible burning decisions, please read the guides to open burning at: http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp.
Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be fined $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 may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
For the latest information on fire activity, conditions and prohibitions, visit the Wildfire Management Branch website at: www.bcwildfire.ca.
© Coast Reporter