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Category 2 burning to be restricted in Cariboo Fire Centre

Effective at noon on Monday, July 29, Category 2 open fires will be prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.

This prohibition is being implemented due to increased fire danger ratings caused by a warming trend throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre. Anyone who has been conducting Category 2 open burning anywhere in the Cariboo Fire Centre must extinguish any such fire by the deadline.

This prohibition will remain in place until Sept. 27, 2019, or until the public is otherwise notified.

In addition to Category 2 open burns, the following activities will also be prohibited:

* 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.

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

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