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Category 3 fires to be prohibited in Cariboo Fire Centre

Effective at noon on Monday, April 15, Category 3 open fires will be prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.

Specifically, prohibited activities that would constitute a Category 3 open fire include:

* any fire 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 greater than 0.2 hectares.

Anyone conducting a Category 3 fire anywhere in the Cariboo Fire Centre’s jurisdiction must extinguish any such fire by noon on April 15, 2019. This prohibition will remain in place until Sept. 27, 2019, or until the public is otherwise notified.

This prohibition does not ban campfires that are half-metre high by a high-metre wide or smaller, and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

This prohibition also does not ban Category 2 fires, which include one or two concurrently burning piles up to two metres high by three metres wide, or the burning of stubble or grass over an area less than 0.2 hectares.

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

The Category 3 open burning 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.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $100,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to up 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 the 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. A map of the area affected by this Category 3 open burning prohibition is available online: http://ow.ly/jfAH30omY30

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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