Burning restrictions tightened by Cariboo Fire Centre due to drying trend

The Fire Danger Rating Thursday, May 9. Photo courtesy of the BC Wildfire Service
The Fire Danger Rating Friday, May 10. Photo courtesy of the BC Wildfire Service

As the temperature continues to climb to well above seasonal values Friday, May 10, the BC Wildfire Service added to the list of activities not allowed when a Category 2 open burning prohibition took effect throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre’s jurisdiction at noon.

Jessica Mack, fire information officer with the CFC, said the prohibition was implemented due to an increase in fire danger ratings caused by a drying trend throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre. The additional measures are intended to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.

As of noon on Friday, May 10, anyone conducting a Category 2 open burn anywhere in the Cariboo Fire Centre must extinguish any such fire. This prohibition will remain in place until Sept. 27, 2019, or until the public is otherwise notified.

Larger Category 3 open fires have been prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre since April 15, 2019.

The updated list of prohibited Category 2 activities includes:

* the burning of any waste, slash or other materials;

* open fires larger than 0.5 metres wide by 0.5 metres high;

* stubble or grass fires of any size over any area;

* the use of sky lanterns;

* the use of fireworks, including firecrackers;

* the use of tiki torches and similar kinds of torches;

* the use of binary exploding targets;

* the use of burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description; and

* the use of air curtain burners.

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. A map of the areas affected by these open burning prohibitions is available online: http://ow.ly/SSmc30oHq5B

A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online: http://ow.ly/znny309kJv5

These prohibitions apply to all public and private land, unless specified otherwise (e.g., in a local government bylaw). Check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.

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, as well as the value of resources damaged or destroyed by the wildfire.

The Cariboo Fire Centre stretches from Loon Lake near Clinton in the south to the Cottonwood River near Quesnel in the north, and from Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the west to Wells Gray Provincial Park in the east.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca.

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