As of noon on Friday, all open fires will be prohibited in the Prince George Fire Centre area.
The prohibition applies to all public and private land, and applies to fires of all sizes including: campfires, tiki or similar torches, chmineas, fireworks and sky lanterns, burn barrels or cages of any size, binary exploding targets, air curtain burners and outdoor stoves or other portable campfire apparatus without a CSA or ULC rating.
Only CSA-rated or ULC-rated outdoor stoves or portable campfires which use propane, gas or charcoal briquettes may be used.
“The B.C. government recognizes that camping is a long-standing tradition in this province and that people enjoy having campfires, so it takes any decision to implement a campfire ban very seriously,” a statement released by the BC Wildfire Service on Wednesday said. “Multiple factors are taken into consideration when assessing wildfire hazards and deciding whether to implement an open fire prohibition, including: current and forecasted weather conditions; the availability of firefighting resources; and the Buildup Index (BUI).”
The BUI rating is an estimate of the total amount of fuel available for combustion on the landscape.
Anyone found in violation of an open-burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, and may be required to pay administration penalties of up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, may be 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 the firefighting and associated costs.
“Wildfire prevention is a shared responsibility,” the BC Wildfire Service statement said. “Human-caused wildfires are completely preventable and divert critical resources away from lightning-caused wildfires.”
For the latest information on wildfires and fire bans in the province, visit the BC Wildfire Service website.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, please call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free, *5555 on a cell phone or directly through the BC Wildfire Service mobile app.