Starting Wednesday, people trying to beat the heat with an escape to the backcountry or a beachside gathering will no longer have the option of starting a campfire.
BC Wildfire Service announced Monday that effective noon on June 30 all campfires and category 2 and 3 open fires will be prohibited in the province, with the ban in effect until Oct. 15.
“The provincial weather forecast calls for record-breaking high temperatures throughout B.C. this week and follows a spring of lower-than-average precipitation in the southern half of the province,” said the announcement. “These conditions are expected to persist in the coming weeks.”
Failure to follow the rules could land a violator a $1,150 ticket and an administrative penalty of up to $10,000, and up to $100,000 or jail time if convicted – and all firefighting costs if the violation causes a wildfire.
Aside from campfires, which are defined as any fire smaller than 0.5 metres high by 0.5 metres wide, the ban also prohibits fireworks, sky lanterns, burn barrels, binary exploding targets, tiki and similar torches, chimineas and unrated outdoor stoves.
The ban will apply to the District of Sechelt and the Town of Gibsons and is expected to apply to the Sunshine Coast Regional District.
The fire danger rating for the Sechelt fire zone, which covers the Sunshine Coast, rose from two or Low Danger late last week to four or High Danger as of June 28.