Effective at 12:00pm on Friday, June 16, 2023, Category 2 open burning prohibition will be rescinded throughout the Southeast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction. The Southeast Fire Centre includes Fernie, The Elk Valley and South Country.
Due to decreased wildfire risk, the following activities will once again be permitted throughout the Southeast Fire Centre:
• one to two concurrently burning piles no larger than two metres high by three metres wide
• burning stubble or grass over an area less than 0.2 hectares
• the use of fireworks
• the use of exploding binary targets
• the use of air curtain burners
• the use of sky lanterns, and
• the use of burn barrels or burn cages
Category 3 open fires, as defined in the Wildfire Regulation, remain prohibited throughout the Southeast Fire Centre until October 28, 2023 or the public is otherwise notified. A map of areas affected by the Category 3 open fire prohibition is available here.
Residents are reminded to take the following precautions with any Category 2 open burning:
• Never leave a fire unattended.
• Follow the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation: http://ow.ly/9LnG50L1fjf
• Check the local venting index. Venting index information is available by calling 1 888 281-2992 or visiting: http://ow.ly/5MHN50L15iu.
• At least one person equipped with a firefighting hand tool must monitor the fire at all times.
• Never burn in windy conditions. Wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
• Create a fire guard around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material right down to the soil.
• Make sure that your fire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before you leave the area for any length of time.
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.
These prohibitions apply to all public and private land within the Southeast Fire Centre jurisdiction, unless specified otherwise in an enactment (e.g., in a local government bylaw). Always check with local government authorities to see if any other burning restrictions are in effect.
The Southeast Fire Centre extends from the U.S. border in the south to Mica Dam in the north, and from the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west, to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east.
The BC Wildfire Service thanks the public for its continued support and co-operation during the fire season. To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
You can follow the latest wildfire news here.