The BC Wildfire Service has issued a Category 2 open burning ban that will go into effect at 1pm Mountain Time on July 15th. This prohibition is being put in place in order to prevent wildfires caused by Category 2 burning and to protect public safety.
Fire activity in the Southeast Fire Centre (which includes the Elk Valley and Fernie) has been quiet in the past week and the fire danger rating for the East Kootenay is low to high depending on what part of the region you are in.
On June 30th a a Category 3 open burning ban was issued.
This prohibition will remain in place until Oct. 15, 2022 or until the public is otherwise notified.
As of noon on Friday, July 15, specifically prohibited activities will include:
• Category 2 open fires: One to two concurrently burning piles no larger than two metres high by three metres wide or burning stubble or grass over an area less than 0.2 hectares;
• Sky Lanterns;
• Exploding binary targets;
• Air curtain burners and,
• Burn Barrels or Burn Cages of any size or description, except when used for a campfire as defined by the Wildfire Regulation.
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.
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 fire 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 Southeast Fire Centre would like to thank the public for its continuing help in preventing wildfires. To report a wildfire 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, go to: bcwildfire.ca