With temperatures rising in northern regions of the province, the BC Wildfire Service is encouraging members of the public, and industry personnel, to exercise caution when doing any outdoor burning.
There are currently no open burning prohibitions in effect within the Northwest Fire Centre or Prince George Fire Centre’s jurisdiction. However, people wishing to light an open fire must watch for changing weather conditions and follow all burning regulations to help reduce the number of preventable wildfires. They should also take the following precautions:
- Ensure that enough resources are on hand to control the fire and prevent it from escaping.
- Do not burn during windy conditions. Weather conditions can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
- Create an appropriately sized fireguard around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material, right down to the mineral soil.
- Consider conducting smaller burns around the perimeter of the main fire site before lighting the main fire. This will create a fuel break and help prevent the fire spreading beyond its intended size.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Make sure that your fire is completely extinguished, and the ashes are cold to the touch, before you leave the area for any length of time.
- Before conducting any burn, check with the local fire department and local government to find out if any open burning restrictions or bylaws are in effect.
Anyone planning to do large-scale industrial burning, or conduct a grass burn larger than 0.2 hectares (Category 3 fires), must obtain a burn registration number ahead of time (at no charge) by calling 1 888 797-1717. Burn registration numbers are entered in the Open Fire Tracking System, which allows the BC Wildfire Service to track open burning activity throughout B.C.: http://ow.ly/wILl30jF4cf
A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online: http://ow.ly/znny309kJv5
Anyone conducting an open burn must check local venting conditions before lighting any fire. If the venting conditions in the area are rated “poor” or “fair”, Category 2 or Category 3 open burning is restricted. The venting index can be obtained by calling 1 888 281-2992 and is also available online at: www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/epdpa/venting/venting.html
Anyone conducting an open burn must comply with the Wildfire Act and air quality control legislation. If an open burn escapes and causes a wildfire, the person responsible may be held accountable for damages and fire suppression costs. It is the responsibility of that individual to ensure that burning is done in a safe manner and in accordance with regulations and any current burning restrictions.
The Northwest Fire Centre extends from the Yukon border in the north to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the south, and from the Pacific Ocean and Alaska border in the west to just east of Endako.
The Prince George Fire Centre extends from the Yukon and Northwest Territories in the north to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, the Cottonwood River and Robson Valley in the south, and from the Alberta border in the east to the Skeena Mountains in the west.
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To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, please call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, call 1 888 3-FOREST or visit: www.bcwildfire.ca