City issues ban on open burning

City hall has declared a ban on all open burning within municipal limits.

It came into effect at noon Thursday - the same time the B.C. Wildfire Service issued one for the southern half of the Prince George Fire Centre also came into force.

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The ban includes all recreational fires.

"Propane and natural gas fire pits are allowed, but wood burning fire pits are not permitted," the city said in a statement.

Breaching the city's ban could mean a fine of up to $10,000 on conviction or cost of response, that is crew costs plus equipment.

The BCWFS ban covers the Prince George, Vanderhoof, Fort St. James and Mackenzie forest districts and applies to campfires as well as all other types of open burning.

Only the Peace and Fort Nelson forest districts will be excluded.

Bans on open burning are also in place for all of the Cariboo and Northwest fire districts.

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 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: http://www.bcwildfire.ca.

- This Saturday's pop-up market has been cancelled due to air quality concerns, Downtown Prince George said.

"We apologize for any inconvenience that this will cause to our supportive patrons, but we believe that our vendors should not be exposed to the poor air quality unnecessarily," DPG said in a statement.

The next one is scheduled for Sat., Aug. 25 and organizers will be looking at adding an additional date between now and the end of September.

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