All open fires, including campfires, are now banned in the region, including the Agassiz and Harrison areas.
The Coastal Fire Centre made the announcement on Wednesday, taking the step to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. The fire danger rating is currently high to extreme throughout the Coastal region.
With the current trend of warm and dry weather, wildfires have displayed “aggressive behaviour” and required additional fire suppression resources. It is also anticipated that the region will experience lightning throughout the next week, which will likely produce more fires. Human-caused wildfires can divert critical resources and crews from responding to naturally occurring wildfires.
Open burning is now prohibited, effective at noon on Aug. 1, throughout the Coastal region. This prohibition applies to open fires of any size, fires with a burn registration number, industrial burning, fireworks, tiki torches, sky lanterns and burning barrels. The prohibition does not affect cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus with a CSA or ULC rating that uses briquettes,
liquid or gaseous fuel, as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.
The open burning prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by a fire department.
Anyone found in violation of an open fire ban, including campfires, may be issued a ticket for up to $345. Anyone who causes a wildfire through arson or recklessness may be fined up to $1 million, spend up to three years in prison and be held accountable for associated firefighting costs.
The prohibition is expected to remain in place until Oct. 15. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit www.bcwildfire.ca. Updates can also be found at http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo or http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo.