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Coastal Fire Centre enacting ban on most open fires

Burning activities prohibited throughout jurisdiction as of July 15
Coastal Fire Centre is prohibiting burning activities throughout the region, with category two and three open fires to be banned until October, but so far, the prohibition does not apply to campfires. The region covers all the areas west of the height of land on the Coast Mountain Range from the United States-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.

Effective at noon on July 15, most open burning activities will be prohibited throughout Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, of which the qathet region is a part.

According to a media release from the fire centre, this prohibition is being enacted to help reduce wildfire risk and protect public safety. 

Category two and category three open fires will be prohibited throughout the fire centre’s jurisdiction. This prohibition will be in place until October 28, or until the order is rescinded. 

A map of the affected areas is available online at

The release stated that this prohibition applies to all public and private land, unless specified otherwise, such as in a local government bylaw. People are asked to check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire. 

The release stated specifically, this prohibition refers to the following activities: category 2 open fires, which means an open fire, other than a campfire, that burns material in one pile not exceeding two metres in height and three metres in width; burns material concurrently in two piles each not exceeding two metres in height and three metres in width; or burns stubble or grass over an area that does not exceed 0.2 hectares.

According to the release, a category three open fire means an open fire that burns material concurrently in three or more piles each not exceeding two metres in height and three metres in width; material in one or more piles each exceeding two metres in height or three metres in width; one or more windrows; and stubble or grass over an area exceeding 0.2 hectares.

Also prohibited are the following activities: fireworks; sky lanterns; binary exploding targets; burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description; air curtain burners. 

This prohibition does not apply to campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, or to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes. A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available at the Government of BC website.

The release stated that 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 available nearby to properly extinguish the fire. 

Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a violation 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, unattended campfire or open fire violation, call 1.800.663.5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to

To learn more, follow the latest wildfire news: on the free BC Wildfire Service public mobile app, available for Apple (iOS) and Android devices; on Twitter at; or on Facebook at