With wildfires already raging across the country and even in the province, the Coastal Fire Centre (CFC) has announced measures to keep similar disasters from happening here.
Beginning at noon on Friday, May 13, all Category 2 open fires will be banned in most areas of the CFC's jurisdiction.
A Category 2 open fire is defined as one to two "concurrently burning piles no larger than 2 metres high by 3 metres wide" or "stubble or grass burning over an area less than 0.2 hectares," according to the bcwildfire.ca website. As well, fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, burning barrels or burning cages are not allowed, as are binary exploding targets for such uses as rifle target practice.
The ban is in effect on all B.C. Parks, Crown lands and private lands within the CFC's jurisdiction aside from an area on Vancouver Island's outer coast and the Haida Gwaii Forest District.
Campfires smaller than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide are not restricted by the ban. Cooking stoves using gas, propane or briquettes are also allowed. People starting a campfire must remove "flammable debris" from the campfire area and must also either have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water with which to extinguish the fire. Fires must also not be left unattended.
The CFC's jurisdiction includes much of the province's southwest quadrant including Pemberton, Whistler, Squamish, Vancouver, Victoria, Bella Coola, Hope and Abbotsford.
To report a wildfire, unattended fire or a violation, call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 via cell phone.
For more information, visit www.bcwildfire.ca.