Ban on open burning expanded in Prince George Fire Centre

A ban on small-scale open burning will be expanded to cover the entire Prince George Fire Centre jurisdiction starting midday tomorrow, the B.C. Wildfire Service said.

The ban, had been in place for the Prince George and Stuart Nechako forest districts since May 8, does not apply to campfires provided they're no large than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide.

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Small-scale or Category 2 open burning is defined as up to two piles no large than two metres high by two metres wide and stubble or grass burning over an area less than 0.2 hectares.

Large-scale or Category 3 open burning remains unaffected but continues to require a burn registration number from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

As of Tuesday, there were no wildfires of note and the fire danger rating stood at moderate for most of the Prince George Fire Centre region. However, Environment Canada is forecasting sun with a high of 29 C for Prince George by Monday.

A similar ban has been in place for the Cariboo Fire Centre since May 10 while one for the Northwest Fire Centre was lifted on May 17.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, 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.

To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to www.bcwildfire.ca

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