Unlike a few weeks ago

Campfires allowed within the Coastal Fire Centre

Campfires allowed within the Coastal Fire Centre

Effective at noon on August 26, 2013, the campfire ban in the Coastal Fire Centre was rescinded due to a decreased risk of wildfires. Campfires now will be permitted throughout the Coastal Fire Centre. The public is reminded that campfires cannot be larger than a half- metre high by a half-metre wide. Anyone who lights a campfire must have a hand tool (such as a shovel) or at least eight litres of water available to fully extinguish it. Never leave a campfire unattended and make sure that the ashes are completely cold to the touch before leaving the area.

Category Three open fires are permitted throughout the Coastal Fire Centre jurisdictional area. A Category Three open fire is a fire that burns material in piles larger than two metres high by three metres wide, windrows or grass over an area larger than 2,000 square metres. Any person lighting a Category Three open fire in the Coastal Fire Centre must comply with burning regulations and must first obtain a burn registration number by calling 1 888 797-1717.

Small backyard burning piles (Category Two) remain prohibited within the Coastal Fire Centre, except in Haida Gwaii and the area known as “the fog zone”. This includes: The burning of any material larger than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide and up to two metres tall by three metres wide; the burning of stubble or grass up to 0.2 hectares; fireworks, sky lanterns and burning barrels remain prohibited in the Coastal Fire Centre, except in Haida Gwaii and the area known as “the fog zone”.

Anyone found in violation of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket of up to $345 or, if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to  $10,000 and ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

The Coastal Fire Centre covers all of the area west of the height of land on the Coast Mountain Range north of 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.

The “fog zone” is two-kilometre wide strip on the outer coast of Vancouver Island, from Owen Point near Port Renfrew north to the tip of Vancouver Island and wrapping back to the boundary of the District of Port Hardy. The strip stretches inland two kilometres from the high tide point.

The open-burning prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by fire departments. Please check with local governments for any other restrictions before lighting a fire.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or non-compliant open burning, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or dial *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit the Wildfire Management Branch website: www.bcwildfire.ca