Effective at noon today ( June 10), Category 2 and Category 3 open fires will be prohibited throughout the Coastal Fire Centre's jurisdiction, with the exception of the "Fog Zone."
This expansion of the existing prohibition is to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. This prohibition will remain in effect until Oct. 16, 2015, or until the public is otherwise notified.
This prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands within the Coastal Fire Centre, with the exception of the area known as the Fog Zone. The Fog Zone is a band of land two kilometres wide that runs from Owen Point near Port Renfrew to the district boundary of Port Hardy.
A map of the affected area is available online.
This prohibition does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has wildfire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department. Before lighting any fire, check with local civic authorities regarding any other restrictions.
Specifically, this prohibition applies to:
- the burning of any material (piled or unpiled) smaller than two metres in height and
- three metres in width;
- the burning of stubble or grass fires over an area less than 2,000 square metres;
- the use of fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, burning barrels or burning cages of any
- size or description; and
- the use of binary exploding targets (e.g., for rifle target practice).
This order does not prohibit 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.
People lighting a campfire must maintain a fireguard by removing flammable debris from the campfire area, and they must have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available onsite to properly put out the fire. Campfires must never be left unattended and must be completely extinguished before leaving the site for any length of time.
For information on what constitutes a legal campfire in British Columbia, click here.
Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345, 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 Coastal Fire Centre covers all of the area west of the height of land on the Coast Mountain Range from the U.S.-Canada border at Manning Park, including Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park in the north, the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii.
To report a wildfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.