Campfire bans are coming for half of B.C.’s fire centres after a week of prolonged hot and dry conditions.
On Thursday (Aug. 4), campfires will be banned in the Southeast, Coastal and Kamloops fire centres — which cover the entirety of southern B.C.
The bans apply to all crown land, B.C. parks and private property. Campfires will still be allowed on Haida Gwaii.
“The B.C. government recognizes that people also enjoy having campfires, so it takes any decision to implement a campfire ban very seriously,” reads a bulletin from the BC Wildfire Service.
Campfire bans do not apply within the boundaries of municipalities with their own fire prevention bylaws and fire departments. Municipalities will enact their own fire bans and it is best to check with local authorities before lighting any fires.
The ban also applies to fireworks, sky lanterns, binary exploding targets, burn barrels or burn cages of any size, and air curtain burners.
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.
In the last seven days, 152 new wildfires have started in B.C. — a vast majority of which are in the Kamloops and Southeast fire centres.