Open fires banned in B.C.'s Coastal Fire Centre, from U.S. border to Haida Gwaii

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      The B.C. Wildfire Service has banned open fires in the province's Coastal Fire Centre area until the fall.

      The ban applies to so-called category 2 and category 3 open fires and does not include most small and regular-size campfires for now. It covers all public and private lands and is being enacted to reduce wildfire risk.

      The order, announcd in a July 13 bulletin, is effective at noon on July 15 and lasts until October 28, 2022, unless rescinded earlier.

      Penalties for breaking the prohibition range from an $1,150 ticket to an administrative penalty of up to $10,000 to a fine of up to $100,000 and/or a year in jail upon conviction in court.

      Areas in the Coastal Fire Centre's jurisdiction include all land west of the Coast Mountain Range, from the U.S. border to Haida Gwaii, including the Lower Mainland, the Sunshine Coast, the Gulf Islands, and Vancouver Island. The northern coast limit is Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park.

      Also banned under the order are fireworks, sky lanterns, binary exploding targets for firearms practise, any kind of burn barrel or burn cage, and air-curtain burners for wood waste.

      Campfires that are a half-metre wide by a half-metre high or smaller are not banned. Cooking stoves that use propane, gas, or briquettes are allowed.

      Local government bylaws can take precedence in some areas.

      The B.C. Wildfire Service described category 2 open fires as those burning material in no more than two piles that are each no more than two metres high and three metres wide; grass- or stubble-burning fires that cover 0.2 hectares or less are included in this category.

      Category 3 open fires are considered to be those burning material in three or more piles not exceeding two metres in height or three metres in width, or in one or more piles exceeding two metres in height or three metres in width. One or more windrows and grass or stubble fires exceeding 0.2 hectares are also included in this grouping.