Effective at noon on Thursday, May 17, an existing Category 2 open burning prohibition in parts of the Prince George Fire Centre will be expanded to include the entire fire centre, to reduce wildfire risks and protect public safety.
A Category 2 open burning prohibition came into effect in the Fort Nelson and Peace Natural Resource Districts on May 3, 2018. The additional prohibition will include the Mackenzie, Fort St. James, Vanderhoof and Prince George districts.
A map of the area affected by the Category 2 open burning prohibition is available online at: http://ow.ly/ZtIq30k19Pu
Specifically, a Category 2 prohibition applies to:
- the open burning of any material (piled or unpiled) smaller than two metres high and three metres wide
- the use of burning barrels
- the use of burn cages
- the use of air curtain burners
- the use of exploding binary targets
- the use of sky lanterns
- the use of fireworks
- stubble or grass fires over an area smaller than 2,000 square metres
The BC Wildfire Service is implementing this prohibition to help prevent wildfires sparked by Category 2 burns, due to dry and windy conditions in the weather forecast. This prohibition will remain in place until the public is otherwise notified.
However, this prohibition does not apply to Category 3 fires or 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 online at: http://ow.ly/znny309kJv5
Anyone lighting a campfire must maintain a fireguard by removing flammable debris from around the campfire area, and they must have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish the fire.
This prohibition applies to all public and private land unless specified otherwise, for example in a local government bylaw. Please 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 $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.
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.
Report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation by calling 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, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca