As temperatures are predicted to increase throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre next week, Category 3 open fires will be prohibited beginning June 21 effective at noon.
The Cariboo Fire Centre said the ban comes as a way to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety, and expands Category 3 bans already in place for the 100 Mile Forest District since May 3 and the Cariboo Chilcotin Forest District and Tsilhqot’in Declared Title Area since May 31.
“This expansion into the Quesnel Forest District and the remaining area of the Cariboo Chilcotin Forest District will remain in place until Oct. 1, 2021 or until the public is otherwise notified,” stated a news release from the CFC.
Outlining what the ban implies, the CFC reminded it includes any fires larger than two metres high by three metres wide, three or more concurrently burning piles no larger than two metres high by three metres wide, burning of one or more windrows and burning of stubble or grass over an area great than 0.2 hectares.
So far campfires are still allowed, but they cannot be larger than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide.
The Category 3 open fire prohibition applies to all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department.
Check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.
Williams Lake fire chief Erick Peterson said locally the department is getting prepared for the summer.
“I think with the fire near Lytton this week has everyone’s attention,” he said of the 80 hectare fire burning on steep terrain, east of Skuppah approximately seven kilometres south of Lytton adjacent to Highway 1 and classified out of control.
As of June 17, 2021, there have been 39 fires since April 1, 2021 in the Cariboo Fire Centre burning a total of 250 hectares.